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Glen Terry (Order #10008351)

The Buckerbeisser ........................................ 1
A large frog-like creature native to KidKit and the
mascot of MerCo

Mapping Port Loren ..................................... 4

Issue 15 Winter 2016


Reconstructing a modern digital version of the city

map from the original Star Frontiers box.

Janus System Report ................................... 8

Planetary data and history reworked from the
1984 Star Frontiers competition module

Woolies ...................................................... 12
The native sapient race on Janus

Janus Fauna ............................................... 14

Some of the fun creatures you might run into if you
wander off into the jungle

Titian Rising: 2299..................................... 17

Episode 8 of the on-going Titan Rising story

Androids ..................................................... 19
The Buckerbeisser ..............................................1

An alternate take on high level, sentient robots

Get a Grip ................................................... 22

Personalize your weapons handle for safety and

The Arks, Dogmen, and Mogs.................... 24

A pair of canine based races for Star Frontiers

Mr. M .......................................................... 28
The proprietor of the Equipment Emporium on
Pale Station
Janus System Report ..........................................8

Plicka and the Void Crusher ....................... 29

Ever wonder what it is like to accelerate at 15
standard gravities?

The Stowaway............................................ 34
A free roaming dralasite gets more than he
planned for.

Grimz Guide Comic ....................... back cover

Just when things looked to be going well

The Arks, Dogmen, and Mogs .......................24

2012-2016 Frontier Explorer Magazine. The Frontier Explorer and Star Frontiersman names and logos are trademarks of the Frontier Explorer Magazine.
Wizards of the Coast, Star Frontiers and their logos are trademarks of Wizards of the Coast LLC in the United States and other countries. The rights to all material
presented here are retained by their original authors and are printed with permission.

Glen Terry (Order #10008351)

Issue 15 Winter 2016

From the Editors

Production Credits

Welcome back explorers!

A new year and a new issue of the Frontier Explorer. This

issue contains a lot of material from our contributor Laura
Mumma. She grabbed the old Trouble on Janus module
from the 1984 MassConfusion Star Frontiers competition
and cleaned it up a bit and expanded the descriptions of
the planet, fauna, and indigenous sapient species. The
world is ready to drop into your campaign.
Laura also contributed two additional articles on other
sapient species. The first expands on an article, The
Hunde, from our sister magazine The Star Frontiersman
(issue 19), and gives some variations on this canine race.
Her second article talks about androids and expands the
options for robots in your game.
Beyond that we have many of the usual articles including
a new Jurak Hangna creature, the next installment of the
Titan Rising comic and more equipment from the Minzii
Marketplace. I also did an article on my recreation of the
original Port Loren map and we have another article from
the continuing adventures of Alex Stone and a story from
our resident artist, Scott Mulder.

Cover Art: Blue Planet 3 by vissroid on Deviant Art

Back cover comic: Scott Mulder
Banner Logo Image: NASA
Editors: Tom Stephens, Tom Verreault
Layout: Tom Stephens

I greatly appreciate all the stories and articles from our

regular contributors. They provide a strong foundation for
every issue of the Frontier Explorer and provide us with
some regular features that we can look forward to. But
what truly makes the Frontier Explorer great is
contributions from the wider community. Wed love to
hear more from our readers.

Full Cover Quote: When we contemplate the whole

globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with
continents and islands, flying through space with other
stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole
universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty.
John Muir

Are you using material from the magazine in your games?

Have you adapted it to another system? Did it inspire you
to create something else? Wed love to hear feedback on
the influence the articles and art have had on your game.
And if you created something that youd like to share
wed love to help with that too.

And it doesnt have to be based on the core Star Frontiers

system. It often seems to be that way but when I created
this magazine I never intended it to be focused solely on
Star Frontiers. I would love to see material for other
systems as well. In a perfect world, Id publish all the
Star Frontiers material in the Star Frontiersman and use
the Frontier Explorer for material from other systems as
well with Star Frontiers just being one of many.

producing as well. The greater the variety of ideas and

viewpoints, the better everyones games become.
So thats my request. If youve created a piece of
equipment or a setting or an NPC or even a whole
adventure that is related at all to science fiction gaming,
consider submitting it and sharing with the world.
And as always, keep exploring!

I know there are people out there playing games in the

Star Frontiers setting using other rules systems because I
see it mentioned on social media all the time. Id love to
publish some of the wonderful material they have been

- Tom Stephens
Senior Editor

Legal The Frontier Explorer is not affiliated with, endorsed, sponsored, or specifically approved by Wizards of the
Coast LLC. The Frontier Explorer may use the trademarks and other intellectual property of Wizards of the Coast LLC,
which is permitted under Wizards' Fan Site Policy.
Glen Terry (Order #10008351)

Frontier Explorer

The Buckerbeisser
Eric Winsor
Greetings gentlebeings. Let me introduce you to another
creature of the Frontier. The JHF hosts a small pack of
Buckerbeisser. Several years ago a friend of Dwain and I
gifted us a mated pair of Buckerbeisser during our visit to
Kidkit, Madderly's Star. He named the pair Anthony and
Cleopatra. We call them Tony and Cleo. Our pack is the
offspring of this pair and we are presently completing the
travel arrangements to place all but two of our pair's
descendants with various zoos. Port Loren Zoo is getting
a female to pair with the male they already have. Klaktow
Zoo is getting a pair of males to start their exhibit.
Special arrangements have been made for this pair as
buckerbeisser are the mascot of MerCo. Another male is
going to the Metropolitan Zoo of Lake Vast where they
hope to mate him with their female. A female is going to
the Onehome Xenological Park. Another male is going to
the Sengsen Zoological Society. We are receiving a male
from them with a female that was to be sent to the
Klaktow Zoo from the Port Loren Zoo. MerCo won a law
suit baring the importation of female buckerbeisser to the
Gruna Garu system. The two we are receiving will be
paired with the male and female buckerbeisser that we are
retaining from Tony and Cleo's children.

snow. The summers are known for commencing with

great rain storms accompanied by fierce winds. The great
trees of the region have adapted by growing massive root
systems to withstand these winds. Following the great
rains, the short dry season causes the glaciers to melt back
and occasionally reveal the bare rock peaks of the
mountains. The rains return on a daily cycle following
summer with morning and late afternoon showers. The
winter months are characterized by temperatures that
approach freezing and on occasional years drop just below
freezing. The daily precipitation during the winter months
often minimizes to just once a day around noon.
Following winter the twice a day rain cycle returns as the
temperature increases until the great rains return.

Moldovan Wildlife

The rain forest supports a profuse variety of carboniferous

tetrapods. These creatures possess features common to
rudimentary mammals as well as amphibians and reptiles.
Typically the creatures are adapted to life in water with
skin that needs to remain moist and allows gas exchange
to supplement breathing. The larger Moldovan Rain
Forest creatures have lung structures which allow them to
travel further from water and survive with their skin dry
for long periods of time.

The Rain Forests of


The predominant physical structure is four limbs, two in

front and two in back, with four digits on each foot or
hand. Bilateral symmetry is well developed. The internal
bone structure of the creatures is a mix of solid bone and
cartilage allowing for great flexibility and fast movement.
Teeth are developed in these creatures and range from
serrated boney ridges in the small creatures to individual
teeth set in the surrounding bone of the larger creatures.

Kidkit has beautiful rainforests in many of its coastal

regions. The northwestern coasts of the Moldovan
continent have great rocky mountains running north to
south along the coastline which trap the coastal rains as
the weather presses inland, creating a temperate rainforest
climate. The trees here grow to great heights and the
undergrowth has flourished in the wet climate with
vascular plants that develop into a great variety of fronds
and flowers. The environment is wet and green.
Rivers flow from the mountains to the north and west that
block the rains from pressing inland. Rain occurs about
80% of the year. The moisture falls as snow in the tallest
peaks feeding glaciers that drive the many rivers in the
region year around. The rivers converge in the many
canyons to become rivers ten to twenty meters wide.
These canyons join together causing these several rivers
to join into a great river named the Wimahl. The terrain
also supports countless ponds, lakes, and springs.
The temperatures in the region range from hot and humid
in the summers to occasional winters with a dusting of
Glen Terry (Order #10008351)

Buckerbeisser by Scott Mulder

Issue 15 Winter 2016

The distinguishing feature of the creatures in the
Moldovan Rain Forest is a pair of opposing pincers set
bellow the jaw.

onto the opponent and the buckerbeisser mauls its victim.

If a limb or other body part can be fit into the maw of the
buckerbeisser, then the beast will employ a crushing bite
to inflict prolonged damage.

The rain forests are also populated with a great variety of

insects, mollusks, simple amphibians, fish, small reptiles,
and basic mammals. The insects and mollusks are food
sources for the simple amphibians, fish, small reptiles,
small carboniferous tetrapods, and the small mammals.
The larger reptiles, fish, mammals, and carboniferous
tetrapods find food sources among the smaller creatures.
Some of the reptiles and mammals are strictly
herbivorous. Among the dominant predators of the
Moldovan rain forest is the buckerbeisser.

Contrary to many reports on the core networks, the

buckerbeisser does not have a long tongue that it can
shoot out to catch prey. The tongue is sticky when
touched and buckerbeisser do rest with their mouths open
to bait insects into landing and getting stuck. On rare
occasions, if a large insect happens to land, the
buckerbeisser will snap its' mouth shut to assure the catch.


The first encounters with buckerbeisser were by MerCo

personnel on training exercises in the Moldovan rain
forest. Legend has it that an elite team of rangers were
conducting a search and destroy exercise when their point
man walked into the kill zone of nine Buckerbeisser and
was caught off-guard. The team then fought off the pack
and rescued their badly injured companion. The team
then completed their mission by using a captured
Buckerbeisser to distract their approach to the target and
destroy it. After the mission this team took to hunting the
Buckerbeisser in small two man teams as a training
exercise for environment awareness. This continued
contact with the Buckerbeisser revealed the intelligence
level of the Buckerbeisser to be similar to human canid.
One of the team officers then captured a young
Buckerbeisser from a pack and raised it in contact with

The buckerbeisser is one of the largest carboniferous

tetrapods found on Kidkit. They reach a size of about a
meter tall and a meter long when fully grown. Full size is
reached at about two years of age. This coincides with
fertility for the buckerbeisser.
Buckerbeisser are
ovoviviparous, mating for the first time at about two years
of age and caring their young for three months before
birthing live young into an aquatic environment. Newly
born buckerbeisser lack their limbs and have a simple tail
which they swim with for the first couple of months while
their limbs develop. They are about 30 to 40 centimeters
long at birth and only prey to the largest of fish in their
environment. However, there are many reptiles adept at
ambushing the young buckerbeisser. Typically, between
6 to 10 young are born to a mother at a time. The young
then remain with the mother and father for the next two
years until they are full grown and the pack breaks up
with each of the young heading out on its' own to find a
mate. The adolescent buckerbeisser will then spend the
next year seeking a mate. Buckerbeisser mate for life.
Buckerbeisser hunt in pairs and will team up with a
sibling or two while they seek out a mate. They are loyal
to their hunting partner(s) and will stick to them until their
mate is found. This loyalty also allows for the formation
of super packs where several mated pairs and their
offspring will hunt together.
These super packs
eventually disband when the prey food source is
insufficient to feed the pack and they must split up to hunt
in different territories. Hunting is typically done by
ambush with each pack member hiding silently in the
undergrowth and waiting for prey to wander into the kill
zone they have encircled. Once prey is in the kill zone,
the waiting buckerbeisser will rush in for the kill.
Another hunting method employed when two or very few
buckerbeisser are available to hunt together is for one to
lay in concealment and the other to drive the prey into the
kill zone of the waiting ambush. When a single
buckerbeisser is forced to hunt alone, ambush is the only
documented hunting method.
The buckerbeisser typically attack by bowling the
opponent over with a rush that capitalizes on their bulk to
hit their prey. The pincers are then employed to grapple

Glen Terry (Order #10008351)

Hunting Buckerbeisser by Scott Mulder

the other humans in his ranger team. The Buckerbeisser

bonded with the team and accepted them as its pack.
This MerCo ranger team then began a breeding program
to domesticate the Buckerbeisser for use as working
animals. To date they are dozens of generations into their
breeding program and they have produced Buckerbeisser
who are able to be led on a leash, take simple commands
to stay in a place or follow, and to control their urges to

Frontier Explorer
attack humans, yazirians, dralasites, vrusk, ifshnits, and
osakar. They claim they are still having problems
acclimating Buckerbeisser to humma. So far the most
common working purpose of domesticated Buckerbeisser
in MerCo are as guards where they will wait over their
trained kill zone and then rush anything that enters that
zone. They are typically chained for guard work as they
will make a loud guttural sound as they try to reach
beyond the end of their leash when attacking. Several
buckerbeisser surrounding a kill zone on chains will
effectively keep an intruder from moving until the guards
with shock restraints show up. Buckerbeisser are not
taken into public on leash often due to their immature
They are still unpredictable about
attacking even while on leash with their trainers.

force of Buckerton with employees who have past career

ties to the MerCo Rangers. They have also reportedly
been employed as guard animals on some of the estates of
the wealthy Buckerton family on Kidkit. The Buckerton
family will neither confirm nor deny this.
Off-world buckerbeisser have only been reported to have
been imported to zoos and other xenological institutions
including the JHF. The wild disposition of the pure
undomesticated buckerbeisser bars their importation to
most worlds.
The domesticated breed is still too
immature for most worlds to permit importation. The JHF
could find no records of buckerbeisser importation beyond
zoological imports.
Buckerbeisser are dangerous animals and not a pet for
nonprofessional animal trainers. There are numerous
accounts of severe bite wounds and some maimings from
buckerbeisser on Kidkit. The JHF does not recommend
personal ownership of these animals and encourages all
beings interested in seeing these creatures to visit any of
the zoos and xenological institutions mentioned at the
beginning of this article.

MerCo Mascot

MerCo is headquartered on Kidkit and with the discovery

of this species credited to their personnel, they have
become quite fond of the Buckerbeisser. MerCo filed the
official registry in the alien creature file and sponsored the
initial scientific study of the creature and all of its related
species. They purposely named the creature after the city
of Buckerton as an honor to the city. The name beisser
was used because it means biter in an ancient human
language and was once used in naming dog breeds that
walked with a gate similar to the buckerbeisser.




Small : 1m


The CEO of MerCo has taken to bringing a gold chained

buckerbeisser with him as part of his color guard in
official meetings both on and off world. All MerCo
ranger units now keep a buckerbeisser as a mascot and
these are often taken on off-world deployments by the
commanding officers.

Legal Status


65 m/turn










MerCo is currently the only organization utilizing

buckerbeissers. Individual ownership of these creatures
as pets or guard animals has yet to spread outside of
MerCo. There are a few exceptions among the police



Pincer grapple, crushing bite

Kidkit, Maderly's Star

GM Notes

MerCo, though in good relations with WarTech as one of

their weapons suppliers, pressed the limitation of no
female Buckerbeissers in Gruna Garu because WarTech
also sells weapons to Galactic Task Force Incorporated.
The naming of the buckerbeisser after the city of
Buckerton is commonly recognized by the locals of Kidkit
as actually a nod to the very wealthy Buckerton family
who are major shareholders of MerCo.

The MerCo Mascot by Scott Mulder

Readers wishing Jurak Hangna to investigate a creature

of the frontier need only submit a picture and any details
of the creature via Submitters
must have right and permission to submit all artwork.

Glen Terry (Order #10008351)

Issue 15 Winter 2016

Game Aids

Mapping Port Loren

Tom Stephens
roads on the map. I also established a rectangular grid in
Inkscape to allow drawing all the objects easier as the
tools would snap to this grid.

Editor/Authors Note: This article first appeared as a blog

post on my blog, Arcane Game Lore in mid-December
2015. You can check out the blog for other gaming
material as well.
There are a few other fan created versions of the Port
Loren map out there (Heres the google search) but none
of them captured the feel of the original for me.
I have many memories of adventures and encounters
played out on this map over the years. I still have my
original copy that I got with the boxed set back in the
80s. I had it laminated back then so we could write on it
(and the maps on the back) with grease pencils (anyone
remember those?) to add features or notes. It has held up
quite well over the years thanks to the lamination.
I started on this project a couple of years ago and dont
really remember what prompted me to really get into it.
But with an increase on on-line virtual tabletop systems, I
figured it would be nice to have a near original copy for
the nostalgia value alone. I had finished everything but
the labeling last November but then being back in grad
school hit me with some super busy semesters and I had to
put the project on hold. When I finished my last paper for
the most recent semester last week, I figured Id finish this
off and get it out there for people to enjoy. I thought Id
talk a bit about how I put this together.

Next I added the actual map grid. This is actually quite

easy in Inkscape. You just go to Exensions->Render>Cartesian Grid This gives you a dialog box that
allows you to set the parameters for your grid. You can
set things like the spacing between the lines, thicknesses
of the lines, and have primary, secondary, and tertiary grid
divisions if you want. I just set primary grid lines at 50 px
spacing and the correct number in the x and y directions.
After adjusting the setttings, just click the Apply button
and your grid appears. You might have to move it around
a bit but thats fairly easy.

The map was drawn in Inkscape, my current go-to vector

drawing program and was drawn in a series of several
layers to get all of the features on there properly. The
map is drawn at 100 dpi.
I started by counting out the size of the grid. The map is
6742 squares in size. The map has two squares per inch
which makes each square the size of the chits that came
with the game. However, I discovered while doing this
that the original map is actually squished a little bit, at
least in the horizontal direction. Every fifth column is
slightly smaller than the others. I vaguely remember this
from playing on the map but never really thought about it
much. Because of this the new map, if printed, will be
slight larger than the original as I have corrected that
Given the basic size, I created a new file that was 1
larger in both directions than the map so that I would have
a 1/2 border all around. The first layer of the map just
contains a large blue rectangle that was the color for the

Glen Terry (Order #10008351)

With the grid in place, I started working across the map

putting in the grass, sidewalks and water features and the
buildings. I basically did this one grass section at a time
and worked from the upper left to the bottom right. The
grass was put on one layer and the buildings on another.
Both of these layers were placed under the grid layer so

Frontier Explorer
Next came the shadows. In the end, I think this is what
was really missing from all the other maps. With the
exception of some of the shadows on the Stellar Tower
Hotel, all of the shadows were drawn on their own layer
that was placed below the building layer. This allowed
me to less exact on those shadow bits that were under
the buildings and get them drawn faster.

that the grid overlaid them. You may notice that the color
used for sidewalks (in that big center area) is the same as
the color used for water features (e.g. around the
government building).

After that was done, I put on all the doors on their own
layer. This was the first layer above the grid as the doors
needed to not have the grid running over top of them.
Otherwise, these would have just gone on the building
layer. This layer also included the In and Out labels
for the underground parking areas.

The next layer was the monorail and walkway system.

This layer was originally above everything up to this point
but at the last minute, I realized that it should be under the
shadows and moved it down in the layer stack to the right
location. This is one of the areas where I deviated slightly
from the original version in that I made the pylons for
Glen Terry (Order #10008351)

Issue 15 Winter 2016

monorail system slightly larger than in the original (and
consistently sized and shaped).

Next I added in the arrows on the roads to show the

direction of traffic. These are on a layer above the grid to
match the styling of the original map.

Next came the fun part, figuring out how to do the

shrubbery. (For some reason I have Monty Python
running though my head. You must bring us a
shrubbery.) I did not want to draw these by hand. I
figured there had to be some sort of image filter that
would give me the basic rough outlines that would match
the original map. After a lot of experimenting, I found
one that I liked and got the colors figured out.
Unfortunately, I seem to have forgotten exactly what it
was. I have the filter saved as part of the image but I cant
seem to find it in the tools at the moment. That is
something Ill have to refigure out if I want to make
another map in this style. This layer was placed below the
shadows layer.

Finally, I added in the labels. This was done with two

different layers. The first, and topmost layer, simply
contained the labels themselves. However, the text was
running over the grid lines and, like on the original map,
some of those grid lines had to be masked out to make
them more readable. This was done on a second layer just
below the text. I simply drew rectangles of the same color
as the underlying background to cover the grid in the
appropriate places.
And thats the Port Loren map, recreated (seen complete
on the next page). The more I look at it, the more I feel
the purple is a little too deep. Maybe at some point Ill go
back and try to match the color a little closer but its not
too far off when comparing a printed section of the map to
the original. The other thing I couldnt match exactly was
the font. I came pretty close using Liberation Sans but I
could never find the exact font used on the original. If
anyone knows what it is, please let me know as Id love to
update it to that font.
Someone pointed out that the in and out directions for
some of the parking garages dont make sense. Ill
probably go back and change those in a future edition as
well. I didnt really pay attention when I was making it as
I was just recreating the original.
Finally, there are a couple of fan made maps that extend
this map or draw a different part of the city. I may take a
stab at recreating those maps in the same style.

Glen Terry (Order #10008351)

Frontier Explorer

Glen Terry (Order #10008351)

Issue 15 Winter 2016

Star Systems

Janus System Report

Laura Mumma
Adapted from Robert Jennings original ideas and
expanded on by Laura Mumma.

There are three other planets in the system, with the other
two planets being much farther out and uninhabited. Janus
has one moon, uninhabited, and has one space station
orbiting the planet to provide weather information, boost
off-planet communications, and facilitate movement of
cargo onto and off world.

Canon Background

The planet Janus first appeared in the MassConfusion

1984 Star Frontiers Competition Module Trouble on
Janus by Robert Jennings. The module is very Travelerlike in feel and not nearly Star Frontiers enough for most
fans of the Star Frontiers role playing game. As a result
Janus become a world in Star Frontiers that has not seen
much use by referees. I suggest with this new world it is
up to the referee to place the world on the map and in the
settings timeline that best fits the referees use. Janus can
best be described as the Amazon Jungle, Old South
plantation culture meets Australia. This is a planet of
two-type creatures, creatures that have strange abilities
or seem to be a mix of creatures from different

The gravity on Janus is 1.1 G. Janus also has a very dense

atmosphere with slightly higher oxygen content, so that
beings accustomed to 1 G should feel no discomfort. The
density of the atmosphere and the proximity to two suns
make this a virtual hothouse world. The planet is covered
with lush jungles of amazing biodiversity. The planet is
divided into two major continental masses that are
crisscrossed by vast and small rivers with a large number
of natural lakes creating a maze of huge to small islands
across the continents.
Janus has a relatively flat rotation orbit and an extremely
slight axis tilt. As a result, seasonal changes are virtually
unknown on Janus. The southern hemisphere is
undergoing a summer season while the northern
hemisphere is undergoing a late summer or very early fall
season, and this situation is expected to continue for the
next thousand years or so.

Planetary Briefing

Janus is a jungle planet, in the binanry Geminus system

(The two stars are called Geminus One and Geminus Two
and local spacers call them the twins), on the edge of
the Cluster (near Gergonise).

Economic Profile
and Development

Janus was discovered over a

century and a half ago by an
exploration ship sponsored by
Multi-Cap Corporation. It was
briefly cataloged, but Janus was
About sixty years ago Multi-Cap
Corporation funded a second
expedition to Janus before their
original claim expired. The
expedition ship the Borderline
The owner and commander of
the ship was Jerry Tatum, who
was also the discoverer of the
Tatum Plant, whose leaves made
an almost universal pain killer
and a good antiseptic. Multi-Cap
Jungle Clearing by Barta IV on Flickr
Glen Terry (Order #10008351)

Frontier Explorer
immediately recognized the value of the discovery of the
Tatum plant and within 1 galactic standard year had begun
developing the planet with the establishment of scientific
research and mapping stations, and an experimental
agricultural farm, thus ensuring Multi-Cap retained its
claim to Janus.

ship Borderline and became the site of Multi-Caps first

research station as the immediate area was mapped,
friendly relations had been established with the local tribe,
and some structures already built by the surviving crew of
the Borderline. Camp Borderline has the first cemetery
and memorial sites for off-worlders.

After determining the most efficient growing methods for

Tatum Plants, Multi-Cap began to recruit colonists from
predominately human populations in the Frontier. Since
then the production of Tatum-leaves have become the
primary product of Janus and its principle source of export
income. Tantum and his crew were also the discoverers of
the planets inhabitants, dubbed Woolies.

Multi-Cap maintains a test farm and plantation at Camp

Borderline and maintains other research facilities there as
well. Camp Borderline has a small landing facility and an
artificial waterway and port that Multi-Cap put in to
connect it to the extensive river system via the Pango
River once Multi-Cap determined water travel was the
safest way to travel. Camp Borderline is located 1,500
kilometers southwest from Central City.

Current Economic Profile

Plantation System

The economy of Janus depends almost entirely on the

growth and export of Tatum leaves, from which a base is
extracted to be made into painkillers and antiseptics. Due
to this situation, the real economic power on Janus rests
with the Multi-Cap Corporation, a pharmaceutical
manufacturing and pharmaceutical agriculture firm with
Frontier-wide distribution. The Multi-Cap directors
realized early on the potential sales to be gained from
exploiting Tatum leaves.

Multi-Cap has developed large tracts of the southern

hemisphere and administers it in the following manner.
Tatum Plants are grown on extensive plantations. Land
tracts are apportioned by Multi-Cap, which picks the
owners of each tract, helps the owner with financing,
clearing the land, equipment purchases, and the other setup costs. These plantations are settled along major
waterways in order to secure cheap and reliable
transportation for movement of the harvested Tatum

Multi-Cap functions as the real governing power on

Janus; Multi-Cap company police have the real law
enforcement power concerning larger planetary affairs.
There is a rudimentary parliamentary system on Janus.
The local non Multi-Cap police force is community based
and very similar in concept to sheriffs. Local authorities
such as planetary police or customs officials wear powder
blue uniforms. Multi-Cap security wears dark blue

A plantation system is established with the owners of the

plantations in debt to Multi-Cap for development capital
and dependent on Multi-Cap for control of the land itself.
Multi-Cap agrees to buy all the Tatum leaf produced and
offers settlers a reasonable price, not neglecting the profit
margin they stand to make from the product when it is
refined and sold off planet. For security reasons, no Tatum
leaf extract is refined on Janus itself. It is speculated that
this security policy helps maintain the firm control MultiCap holds over the plantation owners and develops an
even greater dependence on Multi-Caps purchasing

Central City is the capitol of Janus, the largest population

center, and the location of the planets spaceport. Central
City is located on the eastern coast of the southern
continent where a great river called the Noraworo enters
the bay. The Noraworo delta is connected to many other
rivers, which feed into it
creating a natural supply line of
waterways for the movement of
crops to Central City and
supplies from Central City to the
many plantations in the jungles
of Janus. Thus Central City has
a huge port for river ships &
warehouses. In addition a major
mill is located in Central City
that processes lumber brought
from the jungle.
Camp Borderline is the second
largest settlement on Janus and
is the oldest settlement as well.
This is the site of the crashed
Glen Terry (Order #10008351)

Issue 15 Winter 2016

The labor to actually plant, weed, and harvest the Tatum
Plant is provided by the Woolies. Use of Woolies as labor
appears to be a mutually exploitive system. That is, the
growing and harvesting of vast acreage of Tatum Plants
would be impossible without a source of cheap, effective
labor able to make independent decisions beyond the
capability of programmed robot labor.


Under the terms of trade agreements, no planet may shut

off trade with another signatory planet, except for medical
Non Multi-Cap ships do come to Janus for trade purposes.
However, they come mostly as carriers of goods to the
planet. While Tatum Plants grow wild all over the face of
the planet, they are seldom concentrated enough to make
up enough of a harvest weight to make harvest from the
wild viable. In addition, Woolies in the wild apparently
have difficulty understanding the concept of property and
property-trade rights.

The plantation system appears to be a salvation for the

Woolies themselves. The planet is over run with a host of
natural predators, both animal and plant, and most of these
predators feed on Woolies, whose function in the ecology
appears to be roughly equivalent to that of rabbits. The
lack of large tribal or clan connections, or more than
elementary civilization development, make the Woolies a
poor long-range choice to emerge as a dominant species
on Janus were it not for the intervention of other
intelligent species, specifically, the advent of the MultiCap Corporation and plantation system.

Some unscrupulous traders have influenced tribal bands of

Woolies to steal from plantations at harvest time, and
have gotten away with it. However, Woolies appear to be
loyal workers, and while such practices have occurred,
they are by no means common.
There are rumors that sapphires and large deposits of
various ores have been found in the interior of the
southern continent. Specifically it is rumored that the Red
Mound Hills, in the Wallaby River Basin contain riches.
This area is about three thousand kilometers west of
Central City, in the middle of uncharted, hostile jungle.
Some traders have managed to barter such inconsequential
items as mirrors, metal knives, bells, rope, and the like
and have obtained raw sapphires, though not in serious
quantity. Most explorers willing to tackle the hazards of
the jungle specialize in exotic plants and fruit. Orchid type
flowering plants are common. In general trade
opportunities on Janus are not well established. Multi-Cap
does have several scientific research stations and teams
looking for other plants with medical applications.

In return for working the plantations the Woolies receive

free food, free housing, free medical treatment, and trade
privileges as payment. Woolies do not appear to fully
understand the term payment for wages or the concept
of labor being valuable. However, they are willing to
work the plantations in return for such implements as
knives, spears, trinkets, and primitive weapons such as
bows. Apparently the primary consideration from the
viewpoint of the Woolies is security. There are no
predators within the boundaries of the plantations (except
for occasional intervening creatures which break thru the
security perimeters), which means Woolies can raise
families and live a peaceful existence without the fear of
imminent death. The second consideration is medical
attention, which they regard as some sort of god-magic
provided by the generous outworlders. They do not regard free
food or housing as any benefit at
all, since in their natural state food
and housing is relatively free
An investigation eleven years ago
by a Board of Inquiry reveals that
the system utilized by Multi-Cap
does not constitute slavery,
voluntary or otherwise, and from all
themselves, as well as the
plantation owners, are happy with
the situation which places them at
the disposal of Multi-Cap. The
system appears to be uniquely fitted
for exploiting the only real
economic potential available on
Janus in the best and most efficient
way possible.
Glen Terry (Order #10008351)

Levant Mine by John Stratford on Flikr

Frontier Explorer
Janus, interact with the natives, and so on. This is the
Bonanza, Out of Africa type of adventure setting.


Pirates are not unknown in this region; however, they

normally do not bother with secondary yield cargos such
as Tatum-leaves.

Up the River

Waterway travel has suddenly become more hazardous

than usual with ships disappearing or being found
destroyed, passengers, crew, and cargo missing. PCs are
hired to discover the cause of these sinkings and or
vanished ships, is it the Woolies, pirates, or a previously
unknown creature or hazard?

The Landless

Not all citizens of Janus work on plantations or own

plantation land, such people rent. Since Multi-Cap owns
the land rights it is near impossible for someone to gain
land not through them, however its a big planet with lots
of unexplored regions. There are rumors of people going
up river which means they have set out on their own
without Multi-Caps permission to carve out not a
plantation but a place to live. It is rumored that there are
hidden, illegal (squatter) communities in the interior.
These rumors are mostly dismissed, as it is common
knowledge the jungle is deadly and such people are
doomed to failure.

The Great Space Hunter

PCs are hired as part of a Safari to hunt down a rumored

creature in the interior by a famous off-worlder hunter.
This is the classic black and white African Safari scenario
in old films. It should include a tribe of Woolies, the
porter Woolies are afraid and for good reasons, Woolie
taboos should cause some plot twists, a variety of
dangerous creatures, the elusive semi-mythic creature the
great hunter either wants to capture or kill, at least several
family members and friends of hunter that are a pain in
the neck, a rival Safari hunt group out to get the critter
first at any cost, a few annoying scientists and a few
jealous and petty types that will fight, maybe commit
murder, get in trouble and generally cause problems and
the discovery of something totally unexpected to all.

Flora & Fuana

Plant and animal life is abundant on Janus. Birds and

insects are everywhere in the jungle. Plant life is often
animate on some level. The rivers and seas team with life
as well. Janus wild life is often described as two-type
possessing features of more than one kind of creature or
even a mix of plant, animal, insect and mineral kingdoms.

Heart of Darkness

PCs are hired to retrieve a Multi-Cap employee who has

not just wandered off into the jungle or gone native but
has gone off the deep end. This individual has somehow
become not just the chief of a tribe of Woolies but their
god, and he is galvanizing not only the tribe, but also
allied tribes into a waging war against plantations,
friendly Woolie tribes, and Multi-Cap.

Woolies are the native sentient race and culture of Janus.

Woolies have a protected status on Janus. Woolies are not
to be bothered or harassed in any ways. If a Woolie gets
hurt by a non-Woolie the planetary police automatically
hold the non-Woolie involved on attempted murder
charges until the problem can be investigated. Woolies,
though tall, are not very strong and are basically nonaggressive.

Look Out Jim Thats A Big One

Jim and the PCs are trying to make a wildlife film

documentary for an Interplanetary Geographic episode
sponsored by a health and life insurance company, which
the PCs should really need by the end of the adventure.

A Few Adventure Ideas

The original module Trouble on Janus can be reworked

into a Star Law adventure, or if the players are not Star
Law the players could be trying to investigate the
disappearance of a specific ship perhaps for insurance
reasons, to find lost family members on board, or because
they have heard rumors of riches to be found on Janus at a
spacers bar.

Thats right the PCs are going fishing on the trail of a

killer monster in one of the rivers, and if the PCs thought
land wildlife was deadly, what lurks in this river should
make them never want to go swimming again.

Return to Janus

Janus as a Sathar world

River Monsters

The core four settled on a Sathar world. Janus is the

perfect environment for Sathar. The Sathar are present,
living hidden in the swamps and the underground river
system on what they consider to be a wormy Garden of
Eden and they are none too pleased with the core four
races building and squatting on their pristine planet. At
some point these local Sathar are going to do something
about the invaders.

PCs are part of the crew of the Borderline sent to further

explore Janus by Multi-Cap, the ship crashes, they must
survive the wildlife, collect botanical samples (without
getting killed), map the immediate area, build various
things necessary for their survival, make successful
contact with Woolies, and repair communications and get
an emergency signal sent out.

Out of Janus

I once had a farm on Janus. PCs become plantation

owners and have adventures based on trying to farm on


Glen Terry (Order #10008351)

Issue 15 Winter 2016


Laura Mumma
Woolies come in a variety of colors such as purple, red,
blue, pink, white, and black, some are bi-colored in that
their lower arms, lower legs, and faces are a different
color than the rest of their moss like coat.

Authors Note: The Woolies first appeared in The

Trouble On Janus module by Robert Jennings at the
Massconfusion 1984 Star Frontiers Competition. I fleshed
them out a bit, did not assume they needed to be primates,
or even mammals, and added to their culture a bit.

Woolies have three eyes which are large and bulbous. The
eyes themselves are a constantly changing pattern of
colors on black, best described as like watching colored
oils move on the surface of dark water. The Woolie does
have protective eye-lids. Woolies cannot be hypnotized.
Woolies have extremely good eyesight, are extremely
hard to surprise, and are excellent marksmen with any
ranged weapon.


(sentient race) large herbivores

(1.98 to 2.13 meters)










by weapon type, or claws 45%



1d10 per claw, or weapon type




Jungles, Forest, Mountains


45 kg


30 C


200 years to unknown (see


Woolie range weapons, though primitive, maximize their

strength. Atlatl, blowguns, slings, and other types of
weapons allow them to be weak by other races standards
but still deadly. Woolies are also known to create traps
and defensive structures of primitive but effective natures.
Woolies culturally have no desire to kill other sentient life
but will do so if they believe their tribe or the things they
hold sacred are threatened. They are pacifists seeking to
live in harmony with all of nature.
Woolies shave patterns into their wool and weave feathers
and baubles into their coats. Some tribes wear their
coats in long cords. A Woolie body is long and lean. The
arms and legs are long, flexible muscular limbs similar to
elephant trunks. The legs and arms are surprisingly
slender ending in a large two-toed foot and an extremely
dexterous three-fingered hand. Their limbs are extremely
flexible because they do not have a skeleton but an
interconnecting web of strong fibers that help support
their slender body, somewhat akin to that of a dralasite.
Woolies are not as strong as humans, yazirians, vrusk, or
dralasites because of their unique biological structure.

Woolies are the native sentient race and culture of Janus

and have a protected status on that world. Woolies are not
to be bothered or harassed in any way. If a Woolie gets
hurt by a non-Woolie, the planetary police automatically
hold the non-Woolie involved on attempted murder
charges until the problem can be investigated. Woolies,
though tall, are not very strong and are basically nonaggressive.

Woolies are not mammals but a unique form of life found

on Janus that possess both plant and animal
characteristics. Woolies do not nurse their young. Woolies
have a light pink blood that does contain a type of plantanimal red blood cell, but have significantly less of these
O2 carrying red blood cells than say Humans. Woolies
must wear an O2 boosting breathing device, or be given
O2 boosting drugs to function on planets with lower O2
content than Janus.

These creatures are bipeds covered with moss like fibers

that give them a Wooly appearance. They are about 1.9
meters to 2.13 meters tall. The civilization of these people
is described as nomadic and tribal. Some larger tribal
units of relative stability, primarily on the northern
continent, have been observed to be more settled.

Multi-Cap maintains that the intelligence of the Woolies

has been tested as low. The long term survival potential of
the Woolies without intervention of a more advanced

Woolie is a pun on the phrase the Pango tribe used when

asked by explorers what they called themselves Woloi
means in Pango linguistic group from this place.
Glen Terry (Order #10008351)

Frontier Explorer
culture has been judged as low as well by Multi-Cap
scientists. However, their ability to learn indicates that
they simply have no cultural points of reference for
certain concepts which the more advanced races take for
granted rather than a lack of intelligence.

cannot count above a certain number, this assumption is

It is not known yet what the maximum life span of a
Woolie is but some UPF and Multi-Cap scientists believe
based on observed physiology and tribal myths that it may
be anywhere between 500 to 1000 years or more, while
others debate that is impossible and just myth.

Woolies worship the Mirror Plant. Woolies feed their

dead to the plant as a burial ceremony. The Mirror Plant is
central to their mythologies, and various tribal beliefs.
Woolie elders claim they can communicate with these
plants which speak for the world, but Multi-Cap scientists
do not believe this and claim it is nothing more than
superstitious primitive religious beliefs.

Note: One Woolie elder (Chtahwhaah Farwalk a Woloi

tribal member) did stow away on a freighter and is on
The Great Walk amongst the star peoples, star worlds,
and the sacred harmonies of the stars. The UPF is
unaware of this. Chtahwhaah did go prepared to deal
with its specialized metabolic needs on other worlds.

Woolies have a symbiotic relationship with the Mirror

Plant. The Woolies life cycle is tied to the presence of the
Mirror Plant. Prey and predator are uniquely connected.
Woolies who are not around Mirror Plants are sterile and
will produce no children till exposed to the vapors of the
Mirror Plant. Only after exposure to vapor will the
reproduction of an adult Woolie become active and
express itself as either a male or female flower that
grows from their chest on a tether. Once the pollen of a
male flower has fertilized a female flower, a fruit forms
connected to a sort of outside umbilical cord from the
female flower, which then gradually matures into a child
Woolie as it grows towards the ground.

Woolies as Characters

When generating full ability scores for Woolies, either as

significant NPCs or even as player characters, use the
ability score modifiers from the following table.

Woolie Ability Score Modifiers

Female Woolies often wear slings to help keep the child

contained. The baby Woolie clings to its mother
scampering around on the end of its nutrient tether. When
the tether is long enough that the child can walk beside
their parent the umbilical usually withers and falls off.
The male Woolies flower after releasing its pollen dies
and falls off within 24 hours. Woolies (male and female)
bloom about every 4 months with the exception of a
female with child, who will not bloom again till her
childs nutrient tether falls off at about 8 months.

-10 to STR only






Share Your Creations!

Do you like what you see in the Frontier Explorer? Do you

have ideas of your own that you'd like to share with the
community? Has something from a previous issue inspired
something for your game and youd like to tell the world?
We'd love to help you.
The Frontier Explorer is always looking for submissions
and ideas from new authors. We're open to submissions of
art and articles on any topic from adventures to character
sketches to locations to background information to new
rules to whatever else you can think of. The only
requirement is that it should be sci-fi related. While most
of our content to date has been focused on Star Frontiers, it
doesn't have to be that way. Wed love to see articles
related to other game systems as well. The more variety
the more inspiration for everyone.

The Life Span of the Woolie is not fully known, many die
by being eaten by something before reaching old age,
most die before 50. Many, upon reaching an elder age
of 200, change their name and go into the jungle on The
Great Walk. Their fates are never discussed with off
Elder Woolies go through metabolic changes at 150.
They stop being able to be fertile and become a third
neutral gender. In addition, they begin developing psionic
abilities at 175. The UPF scientists do not fully
understand the change Woolies go through as the Woolie
culture is hiding this from the off-worlders as a sacred
way of their people.

If you've got material you'd like to publish we'd love to

help you get it ready and into a future issue of the Frontier
Explorer. To submit material all you have to do is jump on
over to the Frontier Explorer website and hit the big, gold
"Submit New Content" button. Or if you'd like to talk to
the editors about your ideas first, feel free to drop us a line
at and we'd be happy to talk
to you about it.

Elder Woolies still not on The Great Walk perform the

religious rituals of the tribe, offer council, or are tribal
teachers of tribal history. If off-worlders ask an elder
about their age I am elder is the only answer they will
give (for this reason many scientists believe the Woolies
Glen Terry (Order #10008351)


Issue 15 Winter 2016


Janus Fauna
Laura Mumma
Skien suits offer protection for players, plus the Yazarian
players can, if they remove their sun goggles, actually see
through the black fog and pick out the attacker from the
victim, something the other players will not be able to do.
Once dead, the black fog dissipates within a minute or
two, and this will also happen if the bat is unconscious.

Authors Note: The Blackout Bat, Kite Bird, Mirror Plant,

Octapus Plant, And Tigerpaw first appeared in The
Trouble On Janus module by Robert Jennings at the
Massconfusion 1984 Star Frontiers Competition. The
Janus Wallaby is my own addition.

Janus Wallaby

Blackout Bat
Blackout Bat

Large Carnivore (4-6 meter

wing span, nose to tail 0.5 1.5


1 (Solitary hunters)


Medium: average 60 m per turn






2 talons 60% grasp then, Bite

75% + blood drain



Talons 3d10, mouth 1d10 + 1d5

blood drain per turn


After victim has lost one third

his STA, it must roll under its
remaining STA to remain
conscious, rolling each round
damage continues.


Fog of darkness is cast to cloak

itself and its victim in a black
fog about 8 meters in diameter.





Janus Wallaby

These creatures lurk in overhanging jungle trees and

swoop down taking their victims by surprise. The bat will
always try to fly away with the victim, however, since
adults of the core four races are heavier and denser than
Woolies, the bat will be unable to do so. Sentient beings
of a weight similar to the Woolies can be carried off by
the bat. If the victim is of the Dralasite race the bat does
initial damage plus another claw attack, then tries another,
better tasting victim.
Glen Terry (Order #10008351)


Medium herbivores (1.8 meters

from head to tip of tail, weight
24 kg.)


fast (90 meters/turn)









Stampede strike 2d10, Leap

Kick 3d10, Bite 1d10, claws
3d10, tail strike 4d10


Can leap 5 meters, immune to

beam weapons.




Mountains, Plains


Frontier Explorer
of being so unbalanced by an attack as to cause them to
crash). A mid air collision with one of these beasts that
live in the top canopy of the great trees of the jungles can
foul engines and destroy tail fin assemblies. Small crafts
can be ripped to shreds and their passengers devoured.

Janus Wallabies have a purple and maroon stripped

natural body armor that is segmented (makes them look
like a cross between an armadillo and a wallaby) and
immune to beam weapons. They have short forelimbs
that end in viscous lobster like claws evolved for cracking
into hard husked large nuts. Their eyes are on stalks
which can swivel around. Their legs are very strong and
their tail ends in a spiked club that they can strike with as

Octapus Plant
Octapus Plant

Mobs typically stampede through and away from threats,

but if cornered or attacked the mob will also form a circle
around their young and launch leaping and spinning
strikes aimed at the threat or a portion of the adults will
break off and attack back giving the mob with juveniles a
chance to flee. Once they have the attacker knocked down
they will mob their victim pounding it with their legs,
clubbed tail and using their claws and teeth to tear the
threat apart. Janus Wallabies cannot climb. They can leap
up but will only do so on boulders, branches, or logs that
will give them landing support.



Medium, carnivorous plant, 1.5

meters diameter, .5 meters thick,
with trailing tentacles about 1.5
meters long


1 to 3


Very Fast






tentacles, 50% (8)



Special tentacles are used to

hold prey fast, while the central
mass secretes sweet-smelling
semi-narcotic type digestive
fluid, eating through a skeinsuit
in 5 turns, Albedo Suit in 3
turns, normal clothing in 2
turns, damage to bare skin 1d10
per turn.


After the 3rd round of the attack,

victim must roll under his STA
each round to prevent being
overwhelmed by fumes, which
cause the victim to become
helpless, dazed, high, and
immune to pain, even though
being dissolved by the plant.


Plant is immune to stun attacks,

poison, and takes minimum
damage from needle gun
attacks. Because it is a plant, it
must be absolutely destroyed
before it frees a victim.




Jungles, Forest

Star Frontiers, by TSR Staff, editing by Steve Winter,

1980, TSR

Kite Bird
Kite Bird

Large Carnivore, 6-10 meter

wingspan, beak to tail 1-2




Very fast (120 meters/turn)






2 claws 50%, Beak 65% (80%

if target is in claws)



Each claw - 4d10; Beak - 4d10

(Inertia screen and skiensuit will
provide some protection.)


Impervious to stun or most





Top Canopy of Jungles

This dark purple, eight-tentacle, blob-like carnivorous

plant species lives in trees, where it is completely
camouflaged. A stealth predator, it drops from above and
wraps its tentacles around the body of the victim. 2-pints
of the acid-narcotic can be collected from a dead plant but
must be put into wooden or paper containers.

These creatures possess enormous triple jointed orange

and yellow colored wings, long claws and huge beaks.
They are territorial and aggressive towards other flying
creatures and towards flying crafts (such as shuttle crafts,
scout ships, glijets, jetcopters, aircars and so on) and will
attack intruders (even good sized craft have a 12% chance
Glen Terry (Order #10008351)

Issue 15 Winter 2016

Note: mirror plants seem to be able to learn to a certain
degree, such as certain chants mean dinner. Woolie holy
people seem to be able to communicate with them, or at
least claim they can. Mirror plants are intelligent on some


Medium carnivore



Fast (90 meters/turn)






2 front paws 60% each, 2 back

claws (only if front claws hit)
80%, Bite 70%


Up to 5


claws 2d10, bite 3d10


Tigerpaw get +20 to STA check

Vs. Stun




Forest, Jungle

Mirror Plant

The Tigerpaw runs to attack, it does not spring at its

victims. Tigerpaws are huge, green and black striped
animals, a sort of a cross between a feline and a hyena,
with enormous front and back paws, about two and a half
meters long, standing a meter and a half tall, solid muscle,
with bulging yellow eyes and lots of long sharp teeth.


Medium, standing about

meters tall, 1 meters thick


1 (Solitary hunters)


Stationary, see below






10 tentacles 60%, range up to 15

meters, tentacles are withdrawn
into plant for most of length
when not attacking.


See special, then 1 each per

tentacle, tentacles are fast able
to shoot out 15 meters in 1 turn
and will pull a victim caught in
them into its mouth in the next
turn if victim does not free
themselves or is freed by others.


1d5 per tentacle, thorns along

tentacle, mouth does 20d10


Plant attacks with a flash of

light, 50% chance victim will be
stunned or disorientated for
D10 turns. Plant can flash once
every 20 turns, 3 times per day,
will use all charges up if heavily


Plant also casts a direct mirror

image of itself as soon as it
takes any damage. This
duplicate appears 1 meter to the
right of the plant and is a mirror
image of it, caused by release of
vapor and humming sound to
cause partial hypnotic effect on
victims or anyone else within 34
meter radius.





Mirror Plant

Mirror plants do not need to eat often and are sacred to

Woolie tribes. Mirror plants are large fat green plants, sort
of like an enormous barrel cactus with yellow flowers and
thin tendrils drooping down from its top. The barrel
section of the plant can open up, splitting from the top
into four parts, revealing a gapping opening lined with
long sharp thorn-teeth. When a victim is tossed into the
mouth or pulled into the mouth of the plant the plant snaps
the four sections closed with extreme force, piercing the
flesh and audibly snapping bones of its victims.


Glen Terry (Order #10008351)

Frontier Explorer
Titian Rising page 1

Glen Terry (Order #10008351)

Issue 14 Fall 2015

Titan Rising Page 2

Glen Terry (Order #10008351)

Frontier Explorer

Laura Mumma
four transparent oval tanks. Within each of these
transparent tanks is a semi-humanoid figure, each slightly
different from the other, floating in a clear, amber fluid.
In the tank on the far left is the metallic framework of a
man inter laced with a mass of electronic wiring. In the
tank to its immediate right is a similar framework.
However, partially covering the metal is a partial layer of
muscle. In the next container the skeleton has a layer of
muscle and very man-like figure complete with skin, but
lacking distinct toes, I fingers, and eyes. In the final tank
is a creature indistinguishable from a pure strain human,
complete with hair, nails, and facial features Legion
of Gold GW1 by Gary Gygax with Luke Gygax and Paul
Reiche III

searched for the meaning of life or to be more than their

programming, developed mental illnesses, found religion,
or realizing they were slaves, rebelled, and killed their


The below stats are for a basic human or yazirian type

android. Vrusk and Osakar androids move faster while a
race like Isfinit move slower. To determine the rate look
at walking speed +2 for basic walk, for run multiply the
walking speed by 5 for Thinker and Worker type
androids. For the Warrior type basic walk is +5, run is
found by multiplying the basic walk by 5.

Gaming History



TSR has had several versions of androids in their various

game systems. To my knowledge they first appeared in
the 1976, Metamorphosis Alpha by James M. Ward,
Expedition To The Barrier Peaks from Origins II 1976
republished as an AD&D module 1980 by Gary Gygax,
and Gamma World 1st edition 1978 by James M. Ward
and Gary Jaquet. I reviewed these early TSR android
descriptions as sources for this article. The androids in
these various games all shared some common ideas and
generally served a similar purpose, usually killing the
player party. In addition the Massconfusion 1984 Star
Frontiers Competition Module Trouble on Janus has
androids as well. I have tried to coalesce the general idea
of what an android is from these early ideas into an
overall whole. Including androids in the Star Frontier
universe can offer a wide range of plot opportunities from
good old fashion dangerous creature to benevolent NPC
and even an unusual player character option. The androids
presented in these various examples, are a bio-chemical
organic cybernetic based technology in keeping with the
ideas in TSR material.






In Plotlines

# of d10 damage determined by

STR using the punching table.
























All types randomly rolled with a

-20 modifier to this ability.


75 (min)












Typically androids in a post apocalypse environment

usually consider their creators to be a threat to their
existence, travel heavily armed, and will always fight to
the death. There are, however, plenty of examples of
androids not being hostile in post-apocalyptic Sci-Fi
settings and in non-apocalyptic Sci-Fi settings. Androids
in science fiction have become hosts to the minds of dead
people for better or for worse, formed their own societies,


Glen Terry (Order #10008351)



DEX rounded up

Androids are constructed, intelligent beings created using

advance technologies in the chemical, biological, and
cybernetic fields. Androids are usually created in facilities
specially designed for their production, overseen by
medical, computer, and robotics technicians of the species
creating them. Such facilities usually are only capable of

Issue 15 Winter 2016

producing androids of specific race designs. The brain
structure of these constructs is made to be programmable
directly by computer banks or directly from an individual.
Androids resent being referred to as robots and may or
may not have emotions. Androids can look like Humans,
Yazirians, Vrusks, and many other species and come in
any gender and various age groups though young adult in
the prime of their life is often preferred.
Androids can use any tools or weapons of the race they
are based on as long as they possess the skills to do so. All
have the basic attributes: STR/STA, DEX/RS, INT/LOG
and PER/LDR, all to be determined by the referee
randomly except for the following guidelines:
All Androids have a low INT score and have a -20 at
The thinker has a minimum 75 LOG and 70 STA, and
the warrior has a 70 in all categories except STA, which
is 100, & LOG which is randomly rolled.
All workers have a STA 45 all other abilities are
randomly rolled.
Note that specially built androids such as medical
androids would for instance have a high LOG and high
DEX score. A variety of training androids on a large space
ship for instance might be very specialized such as martial
arts instructor, fencing instructor, boxing, nurse, surgeon,
servant, and so on. Civilian versions of the Warrior Type
(a body guard) would not have an STA of 100 as that
would be military grade and would probably not exceed
70. The three types listed are guidelines only and the
referee is encouraged to create androids that best meet the
needs of their setting.

one large complex where there are complete android

fabrication laboratories containing the necessary
facilities for production: formulation vats, mental matrix
circuit facilities, programming energizers, chemical
storage, and a test area. & the ability to make
chemical life (androids) was well within the power of the
medical specialists. But the question of whether man had
the right to create any form of intelligent living being was
not yet, answered for all. In a move to placate those that
did not wish these fabrications to be equal to men,
limitations were put into every android.
Metamorphosis Alpha, by James M. Ward

When androids are reduced to less than 1/5th of their

starting STA points, there is a 50% chance per combat
turn that the android will cease functioning.
Androids are impervious to cold and usually take only
half damage from acid or fire. Paralysis, gas, poison, and
gaze weapons are useless against androids, but if hit with
electrical attacks there is a 1% chance per point of damage
they sustain that the attack will short their cybernetic
Immersion in water for 3 full turns will always shortcircuit an android unless it is specially built for
underwater operation. Androids can be created to be
resistant to different conditions hostile to the species that
created them, such as radiation, chemicals, acids, or other
atmospheres thus allowing the android to work in that
hostile environment safely. Note, however, that all
androids have biological aspects to them and if they are
not specifically designed to resist radiation or mental
attack, for instance, they will be just as susceptible as
other life forms.

Societies that are technologically advanced enough to

create androids often build in safeguards. Typical
safeguards include limited life span (2-6 years), limit the
amount of memory storage space (so the androids skills
are limited and they are specialists only in one field),
sensitivity to sonics and easily damaged by sonic
weapons, a way to turn them off (individually or as a
group), and programming against harming their creators.
Some societies purposely make their androids as close as
possible to themselves while other species prefer their
androids to look slightly different or obviously artificial.

Glen Terry (Order #10008351)

Frontier Explorer
Androids can have features such as changing color near
the end of its life expectancy (to allow it to be recycled),
built-in frequency key that will permit androids to gain
access to all areas requiring that key, vision that is normal
to 150% human norm, including special types of sight and
audio sensors that can range from normal human hearing
to 150% human norm.

cell. Lack of energy after 20 hours will cause the android

to collapse until energy is restored. Hydrogen Energy
Cells are rechargeable batteries, less common and, more
expensive than chemical energy cells. They do not lose
their charge through disuse.
Editor's note: You could substitute any standard power
pack or Type one Parabattery and assume power usage is
1 SEU per hour.

Unless an androids life expectancy has been limited, they

have an indefinite life expectancy, that is really only
limited to damage they may receive or power source
needs and thus they could last 10s, 100's, or 1000s of
years easily.


In the average setting androids should probably be

expensive and predominately owned by large megacorporations, governments, and the extremely wealthy.
There are probably some cheap versions but these should
be very limited and designed to be servants with limited
capabilities and various safety features, as most
governments would probably not want hordes of superstrong, smart androids they dont control running about.
Androids may fulfill entertainment uses, be tutors,
bodyguards, servants, and perform many other jobs.

Androids are powered by electrical energy but again

designers may supply an android with a long lasting
power supply, broadcasted energy, or a limited power
source. Hydrogen energy cells power most androids. The
standard civilian models usually can operate for 20 hours
from the energy given from the standard hydrogen energy

Basic Body: 1000 multiplied by the ability scores of each

skill ability.
Example: If an android had 45 for each ability that would
be 360 x 1000 = 36,000 just for the body.
Skills: Programming and special features would need to
be considered. For programming use the player skills
keeping in mind that androids are normally specialists and
multiply each level of skill cost by 100 in the androids
Example: Level 6 Medical Skill would be 300 + 600 +
900 + 1200 + 1500 + 1800 = 6,300
Special Features: pricing should be determined by
looking at the similar tech items available and adding that
to the cost.


Gamma World, by James M. Ward and Gary Jaquet,

1978, TSR Rules,
Star Frontiers, by TSR Staff, editing by Steve Winter,
1980, TSR
Metamorphosis Alpha Fantastic Role-Playing Game Of
Science Fiction Adventures On A Lost Starship, by
James M. Ward 1976, TSR Rules, 3rd Printing,
November, 1978
Legion of Gold GW1 by Gary Gygax with Luke Gygax
and Paul Reiche III, 1980 TSR
Dungeon Module S3 Expedition to the Barrier Peaks by
Gary Gygax , 1980 TSR

Glen Terry (Order #10008351)

Massconfusion 1984 Trouble On Janus Star Frontiers

Competition by Robert Jennings

Issue 15 Winter 2016


Get A Grip
Tom Verreault
The old pirate had been regaling me with tales of daring
do from across the decades of his life but most sounded
fairly embellished. I had entertained him with a listening
ear when he had bought me a Capellan Mist. I had never
had one of the inhaled intoxicating drink that had been a
recent fad in the Frontier for the last few years. However,
his tales were beginning to wear on me and I was looking
for a polite way out of talking with him.

power clip installed.

Huh! Ill have to look into that, I wonder if I can get one
from PGC or Wartech?
Oh, yeah but if you do their lethal setting is limited to
only 2 SEU, like I said. To get one that will zap with a full
10 SEUs youll have to find one from a Capellan Free
Merchant. The big corporations dont make them due to
liability issues.

You mentioned killing the astrogator with the shock grip

on your laser? I thought shock grips were limited in the
charge they could give.

I nodded and slipped my ID card into the bar terminal to

pay for the last round of drinks before wandering off to
the restroom.

Aye, normally they are as the laws on most colonies in

the Frontier prohibit them from doing much damage. I,
however, bought mine in the Minzii Marketplace on Faire
in the Capella system, have you ever been there?
Anything available in the galaxy is for sale there my

Recognition Grips

This weapon accessory can be installed on pistols, rifles,

and most melee weapons. It prevents operation of the
weapon by any but its owner. Weapons without a power
clip (i.e. a non-beam weapon) require a SEU microdisc
(sold separately - 10 Cr). Weapons that use a 20 SEU clip
for ammo can operate off that power supply. The
recognition clip is keyed to the dermal scans of the owner
at time of installation and the weapon will simply fail to
operate when used by some other being. Recognition
sensors for shock gloves are a more complicated
installation and therefore there is a 10% increase for

Oh yeah, this here is a concealed shock grip, he said
with a wave at his side arm.
You have to be pretty damned intuitive to spot it and the
lethal setting delivers a full 10 SEUs from the lasers clip
if it has that much power left. Most of the colonies in the
Frontier prohibit the concealed shock grip and require that
the max setting be 2 SEUs.

Cost: 100 Cr.


What if you use a gyrojet or needler without a power


Installed and Coded: 50 Cr.


Sheath Lock

Well then they use a specialized pistol grip with a mini

A sheath lock works in conjunction with a recognition

grip and prevents a weapon from being drawn from its
sheath/holster. It was developed for law enforcement but
latter was used to prevent weapons from floating out of
holsters during zero-g operations. If used in space the
users vacuum suit must be modified with dermal sensor
circuits (200 Cr). Items not normally using a recognition
grip like a knife are sometimes modified to have a
recognition grip and sheath lock if used in zero-g.
Cost: 75 Cr.

Mass: N/A

Shock Grip

A shock grip is a recognition grip that will deliver a shock

to any but the coded user of the weapon. The grip can be
set for stun or 2d10 worth of damage for 2 SEUs per
Image by Samuli Silvennoinen

Glen Terry (Order #10008351)


Frontier Explorer
shock. Weapons with that use SEUs for ammo can use
the ammo source of the weapon to power the shock but all
others require a mini power clip that is sold separately (50
Cr). Recognition sensors for shock gloves are a more
complicated installation and therefore there is a 10%
increase for installation.

Support the Frontier

Explorer via Patreon

An anti-shock implant nullifies the shock effect of a shock

grip but the power is still drained. Also the anti-shock
implant will not do anything about the recognition circuits
stopping the weapon from being used.
Cost: 500 Cr.

Installed and Coded: 50 Cr.

Mass: N/A

Additional Options
Do you enjoy the Frontier Explorer? Would you like to
help support the production of the magazine and improve
it? If so consider supporting our Patreon campaign

Full Discharge

In most jurisdictions the maximum setting for a shock grip

is 2 SEUs doing 2d10 worth of damage. A grip set for
full discharge will deliver 10 SEU for 10d10 worth of
electrical damage. Since its largely considered illegal, a
character will have to negotiate for the final cost.
Cost: 300-500 Cr.

We love making the magazine and will continue to do so

regardless of the outcome of this endeavor. However,
the production and maintenance of the magazine and
website have costs and that's where you can help.

Mass: N/A

Concealed Grip

In addition to just our deep felt thanks, there are perks to

patronage. Depending on the level of support you get
access to supporter only forum on the website, e-mailed a
copy of the magazine in advance of its public release,
early access to the articles for up-coming issues, and at
the highest level, a print copy of each issue you support.
In addition, supporters will be listed on the magazine's
website and at some levels here in the magazine itself.

Shock grips are easily identifiable by law to prevent

accidental injury to sapient beings. For an extra charge a
character may have his grip concealed so as to appear as a
normal grip. Concealed grips for plain recognition grips
are legal and generally cost a flat 100 Cr. However,
concealed grips for shock grips are nearly universally
illegal and a character will need to negotiate for the final
cost. A character must make an INT check to spot that a
weapons grip is a concealed grip and avoid potential
Cost: 200-400 Cr.

The patrons that helped support this issue of the

magazine are:
At the Frontiersman Level Akerraren and Ivan
At the Scout Level Andrew Moore
At the Explorer Level Shane Winter
At the Space Ranger Level Richard Farris, Scott
Holliday, and Kenneth Reising
At the Station Master Level - Pagan

Mass: N/A

I just want to give a huge shout out to these supporters

for their contributions.
The money raised will be used to improve both the
Frontier Explorer and Star Frontiersman magazines in
various ways including improved web hosting, improved
software and hardware for production, website upgrades
and improvements with the magazine itself.
We'd love to have your support to help make the
magazines the best that they can be. Jump on over to the
Patreon site (,
read all the details, and consider becoming a patron.
Image by Inadesign-Stock

Glen Terry (Order #10008351)


Issue 15 Winter 2016


The Arks, Dogmen, and Mogs

Laura Mumma
special attacks and abilities of the Ark (unless it was
purposefully created to have them, or exposed to a way to
gain mutations per Gamma Dawn rules) and is less
intelligent than either the Ark or the Hunde. It is however
friendly and very loyal to their humans. All Mogs have a
heightened sense of smell and heightened hearing. (+10%
to tracking, +10% to hear distances but -20% against
sonic attacks, Night Vision +10% but no adverse affects
during the day, Color Blindness 50% to get any color
choice correct.)

Authors Note: The Hunde, a canine like biped alien race,

was presented in Star Frontiersman number 19, page 2526. Referees may wish to review that article to better
understand how the Arks can fit in as a dangerous
subculture or clan of the Hunde.


"Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay

out and your dog would go in." Mark Twain

Mogs INT/LOG scores are generally never over 30 (only

PCs can be higher).

Mogs (The Dogmen)


Medium Carnivore




Medium (10 m/t walking, 20 m/t

charge, 13 m/t trot, 50 m/t









Bite 1d10, Brawling +5%

(for PCs):

DEX/RS: +0
INT/LOG: -15
PER/LDR: +10 (PER only)


Base Genotype: dog.

Heightened sense of smell,
heightened hearing, night
vision, color blindness





How Much For the Mog in the

The base price for an untrained fixed Mog pup is 1000
Adult fixed Mogs that are trained to be companions or
servants usually go for 2000 to 3000 credits.
Mogs (fixed) trained for protection work or helping the
disabled cost a minimum of 4,000 credits.
Breeding Mogs are extremely expensive ranging in price
from 5,000 to 10,000+ credits depending on strain, lines,
training, show, and competition records.

If dogs knew the nature of a mankinds heart would they
still be our friends?
The Ark is an intelligent species. Standing between 2 to 3
meters tall, the Ark always walks on its well-developed
hind legs. It has a mental strength: LOG mental resistance
of 46 and radiation resistance of 20 which allows the Ark
to ignore 20 points of radiation intensity (example an Ark
exposed to -25/R20 radiation would only experience 5/R20 effect). All Arks have the following mutations:
telekinesis, weather manipulation, and life leech.

Usually standing 2 meters tall, the Mog is a biped

genetically-created, mutated, or altered canine for use as
companions, servants, and protection. Many believe
mankind sought to create humanoid dog to be used for
companions, servants, body guards, or in war, while
others believe an accidental mutation among canines then
was further genetically modified to mankinds desires.
The Mog became a common pet species among the
humans in the Frontier. The Mog normally lacks the

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Arks fear large winged creatures (this is a phobia and

requires a LOG check with -25 penalty to overcome).
They also have heightened sense of smell and heightened
hearing. (+10% to tracking, +10% to hear distances but 20% against sonic attacks), Night Vision (+10% but no
adverse effects during the day), and Color Blindness
(50% to get any color choice correct). Their racial color

Frontier Explorer
blindness, causes them to have a very unusual style of
coloring. It can hurt the eyes of the other races because
they only see in shades. This can lead to confusion when
working with art or wiring diagrams of other races

Ark (Hound Folk, Dog Folk)


Medium Carnivore




Medium (15 m/t walking, 30 m/t

charge, 20 m/t trot, 75 m/t









Telekinesis, Life Leech


Weather Manipulation


Bite 2d10, Brawling +15%

(for PCs):

STR/STA: +15
DEX/RS: +0
PER/LDR: -10


Base Genotype: Dog

Genetic Stability: Stable


N/A (referee should decide

how/what arns are in their


Mountain, Forest, Ruins, or

Radioactive Zones

Arks have a smooth tight coat that is black with tan

markings (80%), though they also come in red and tan,
blue/grey and tan, fawn and tan, chocolate and tan, brindle
and tan, gold/yellow and tan. Arks with other markings or
colors are usually the result of Mog or Hunde crossings.
The Ark affected an escape and rebellion from the facility
while slaughtering the humans responsible for crimes
against them. The leader and lawgiver of the Arks during
this rebellion was Karl of Ark X15328 (Ark project
experiment litter 15328). Called Karl X by Arks. Karl was
incredibly intelligent and led his people to freedom in the
wilds of the marginal planet the research station was
located on.

History and Culture of the


By the time Star Law became involved in this blight on

UPF history, the Arks had established themselves on the
planet, successfully defending themselves from any
attempts to eradicate or capture them. Star Law, with the
help of the Hunde, where able to end hostilities and
negotiate a peace treaty with the UPF. The Hunde
successfully lobbied for the Arks to be considered a
Hunde race as Hunde DNA had been illegally and
unethically used to create them, and for them to be put
under Hunde protection and given rights under UPF law.

Arks are the result of project A.R.K-9 (Advanced

Research Canine Project), Mog DNA was enhanced with
the alien race Hunde DNA and the resulting Mog-Hunde
hybrids subjected to unethical experiments by a humanrun, bio-weapon company. They where subjected to
horrific experimentation and genetic manipulation in an
effort to create a War Mog hybrid. What little is known
about this project by Star Law indicates that either Sathar
based bio-forming was involved or the Sathar may have
influenced the direction of the research.

Star Law and Hunde scientists have been able to prove,

from the documents and research seized at the time of the
rebellion by the Arks and recovered information latter
from the now defunct bio-weapon company, that Sathar
where behind many of the most horrific experiments on

Arks have floppy ears that many pups parents have

cropped at birth, along with the pups tails docked. Though
a minority movement has started among them to stop such
enslaved practices, while others insist it is part of their
warrior culture and history that must be preserved. Most
Glen Terry (Order #10008351)

Issue 15 Winter 2016

the ancestors of the Arks. In short Arks may distrust and
have issues with humans but they truly despise Sathar.

They do have a history of hunting other sentient species

for food. They consider human hands to be a great
delicacy. This taste for human goes back to their rebellion
days when there was limited food and the enemy forces
where often the only food available.

Arks have a strong distrust of humans and view all

humans with suspicion, many hate humans (-10 when
interacting with humans). The only humans allowed on
the Ark planet are Star Law as they stopped the efforts of
StarGenBio from killing the Arks and actively sought the
arrest of StarGenBio CEO and employees involved in
crimes against the Arks and it was Star Law that brought
the Hunde in to help the Arks.

Arks in space should be treated as the intelligent and

potentially deadly foes they can and should be. As a
species they do consider it slavery for any sentient being
to keep a genetically modified or mutated dog that can
walk upright as a pet or to do various duties as a servant.
They will see euthanasia and the sterilization of such
beings as murder and genocide. Arks feel any human that
keeps a Mog for any reason is a slaver.

Arks are fiercely independent, they will very rarely

(almost never) take aide from humans, but are more
willing to deal with other races. The only races they freely
will accept aide, assistance, or interact with in a very
friendly manner are the Hunde or Mogs (+10 when these
species interact). Arks are a proud people and believe all
Mogs should be freed and helped to become more than the
slaves humans have made them into (Arks do understand
most Mogs are less intelligent then most Hunde or Arks
but strongly feel slavery is preventing the Mogs from
developing their true potential).

Regardless of how the Ark best fits into a setting, they

will have a society structured on the complexities of the
canine pack and that focuses on the hunt. Arks are loyal to
the ones they love or causes they love. Arks form packs
based on common needs or interests as well as extended
family units.

Special Abilities

Ark pups are encouraged to fight each other from a young

age (though parents do not allow such brawling to become
deadly) so they will never be slaves again. Arks enjoy
physical combat sports over games for children (the
Arks view all non-combat sports as children games). Arks
are often gruff, aggressive, and impatient with other races.
Arks feel they must protect their rights by demonstrating
their strength. Arks view themselves as the warriors they
where created to be. They see themselves as a race whose
duty it is to protect the Hunde and the Mogs from the
predatory practices of other races.

Editors Note

Since no experience cost was specified, assume any PC

Arks start with level 1 in both Telekensis and Life Leach.
Cost to increase is 5 XP time the level desired (i.e. level 2
costs 10 XP, level 3 costs 15 XP, etc).


(Skill Level 1-6)

The Ark is able to move objects with his mind that are up
to 15 meters away, plus 5 meters for every skill level. The
STR that he uses to lift the object is equal to 20xSL. The
Ark can use telekinesis for 9 turns, then he must rest 9
turns, before again using the power. Telekinesis cannot be
used for fine manipulations, like a hand operating a
machine. It can only lift, carry, move, throw or rotate an
object. It cannot wield a weapon, except for throwing big
heavy things. Lifting and carrying objects telekinetically
is just as fatiguing as carrying them physically. The
character cannot lift himself. Any attempt to lift a creature
requires a mental attack. The same is true for attempting
to manipulate an object in someone's hands. An Ark that
is using this mutation, even just to hold an object cannot
attack unless he is allowed multiple actions per round.

Arks acknowledge the Hunde as their kin but feel the

Hundes are not doing enough to free the Mogs and stop
the exploitation of Mogs. Hunde social workers have been
attempting to integrate Arks into their society and the UPF
but with little success, mainly because of the Ark distrust
of humans. Arks do not consider themselves or Mogs to
be dogs and if referred to in anyway as a dog they will
be greatly offended.
Arks can breed with both Mogs and Hundes and produce
viable offspring. Note, however, the pups only have a
50% of inheriting any of the Arks parents special abilities
or size. In addition, there is a 10% chance the pups of
such a mating will have a unique physical or mental
In the apocalyptic or primitive setting, Arks carry wicker
shields and large clubs as weapons. (They use stone
spears, knives and do wear leather or studded armor.)
They are more than capable of having more advanced
weaponry. Arks have a unique range weapon they created
that uses compressed air called the Gow Gow. In addition
they have a tradition of capping their teeth to protect the
teeth in battle.

Glen Terry (Order #10008351)

Life Leach

(Skill Level 1-6)

The mutant is able to drain the life force from all semiintelligent or intelligent beings, friend and foe alike,
within a 10 meter radius of the mutant. Small animals and
normal plants are not affected by life leech. Most common
animals over half a meter in size qualify. Plants only
qualify if the are mobile or sentient. The character drains
2xskill level STA points from all such creatures within 10
meters each round. He can continue to use this power for

Frontier Explorer

Aspect of

5+SL rounds, but then must rest it for at least 20 hours.

Range increases by 3 meters for each SL over level 1. The
STA points drained from nearby creatures are first used to
heal any damage he has taken. Any leftover points are put
into a special pool of STA points. All subsequent attacks
do damage to this STA point pool. Only when the pool is
empty do attacks affect the creature's original STA points.
After four hours, what remains of any of these "phantom"
STA points in the pool begin to fade at the rate of 5 per
round. The STA pool cannot exceed the character's SL x


Cloud Cover/



Weather Manipulation

This allows the Ark to manipulate the weather in the area

he is in. The newly created weather conditions will last as
long as the mutant concentrates on them. (Note that if the
mutant is hit in combat his concentration will be broken.)
The mutant must concentrate for a full minute (10 turns)
before the weather begins to change, and it takes another 2
minutes (20 turns) for change to be completed. The
weather will be affected in a 10-kilometer radius around
the mutant. The weather cannot be radically changed, i.e.
from below zero to 100-degree heat wave. The extent of
manipulation possible depends upon the prevailing



All three aspects of the weather can be manipulated, but

only as shown: For example, a day which is clear and
warm with a light wind can become hazy, hot, calm day.
Contradictions are not possible, fog and strong wind, for

Light Wind

Success is not automatic each skill level above 1 increases

the percent chance by +5: There is a base 65% chance of
causing one of the possible changes. If it is desirable to
cause a change two degrees away (from clear to light
rains, for example), the chance of success drops to 35%,
and double the time is required (20 turns concentration, 40
turns to effect the change). If a change three degrees away
from prevailing conditions is desired (such as warm to
arctic cold), the chance of success is only 10% and triple
the time is required (30 and 60 turns).

Strong Wind

Possible Change
Very Clear
Partly Cloudy/Hazy
Misty/Light Rain/
Light Snow/
Sleet/Small Hail
Partly Cloudy
Deep Clouds
Fog/Heavy Rains
Heavy Snow/Driving
Sleet/ Large Hail
Sweltering Heat
Arctic Cold
Dead Calm
Light Wind
Strong Wind
Light Wind
Strong Wind

original setting of Gamma World, Arks where clearly

meant to be one of many dangerous intelligent species that
might not just kill the players but eat them. As Gamma
World developed and changed, many folks have actually
used them as a player race option. Arks in Star Frontiers
offer some interesting possibilities. The Arks here have
been presented as the result of purposeful genetic
modification of mans best friend and an alien race that
went wrong or went too right depending on the goals of
the scientists. Arks could have equally come into
existence on one of the quarantined planets, the accidental
mutated descendants of pet dogs now hunting the
survivors of the blue plague. It is possible that the colony
ships the Morden or the Warden is the origin of the Arks
or even the Hundes in space. The Gamma World time line
that includes these Metamorphous Alpha ships was
published in Dragon 88 (August 1984) Before the Dark
Years by James Ward and Roger Moore.

The percentile dice are rolled after the initial

concentration is completed, but the new conditions are not
fully effective until the change in weather is completed. If
the mutant is unsuccessful in changing the weather (either
through failing the percentage roll or being interrupted
after the initial concentration), he must rest a full week
before attempting weather manipulation again. This
mutation is usable a maximum of once per day.

Gaming History of the

TSR first introduced the Ark in the 1978 Gamma World
1st edition by James M. Ward and Gary Jaquet. In the


Glen Terry (Order #10008351)


Issue 15 Winter 2016


Mr. M
Tom Stephens
environmental, and weapon skills he had picked up
serving on the exploration crew gave him a leg up on
many other recruits. He spent many years in MerCo and
visited almost every planet in the Frontier during his
travels. Everywhere he went he would collect stories and
souvenirs. He loved to immerse himself in the local
culture and try to fit in as a native, or at least as well as he
could being human.

Authors Note: I just launched a new series of RPG

gaming supplements called Two Sheet Locations, on
DriveThruRPG. The first of which (and only as of this
writing) is Mr. Ms Equipment Emporium. Designed to be
system agnostic, the intention of the Two Sheet Locations
is to provide a framework that a referee can quickly
translate and drop into their game or system of choice.
Heres my take on the proprietor, Mr. M, in Star Frontiers.

After a particularly dicey MerCo mission, he decided the

mortality rate for mercenaries was a little too high for his
liking. Unwinding after the mission, he ran into a
merchant captain that was looking for a chief of security
and quartermaster for his ship. The two hit it off and the
captain offered the job to Mr. M who accepted.


Born on Lossend in the Timeon system, Mr. M tired of the

life of a farmer at an early age and was always looking for
a bit of adventure. When he came of age, he signed on as
a member of an exploration team that was going to be
working on Lossends southern continent. It didnt matter
that he would be just a common laborer and camp aid, it
got him off the farm.

For the next few years, Mr. M learned the ins and outs of
Frontier trade and picked up some technical skills during
the long trips between the systems. This time he did visit
every planet on the Frontier, even if only from orbit.

By the time that year-long expedition was over, the dissatisfaction of life on the farm had solidified into a strong
wanderlust to see as much of the world and the Frontier as
possible. He stayed with the exploration team two more
years traveling to sites on Groth in the Fromeltar system
and New Pale in the Truanes Star system.

After nearly two decades of travel, his wanderlust finally

satiated, Mr. M decided to go into business for himself.
Still drawn to Pale and the stories of the Sathar invasion,
but also wanting to interact with ship crews and get news
from around the Frontier, Mr. M set up shop on Pale
station. He often visits the surface to continue his
explorations but mostly spends his time in his shop where
he swaps stories with his customers and collects and sells
items from around the Frontier

The trip to Groth was almost his undoing as he was

grossly unprepared for the much higher gravity of that
world, being 70% higher than that of his native Lossend.
He adapted quickly, however, and learned a valuable
lesson about learning about what was coming and getting
prepared for it that would serve him throughout the rest of
his life. On New Pale, he witnessed some of the
devastation and destruction brought about by the First
Sathar War.

Character Stats
STR/STA: 62/45
DEX/RS: 45/45
INT/LOG: 60/60
PER/LDR: 80/60

The exploration crew was disbanding and offered him a

ride back home to Lossend but he declined and hopped a
ship to Pale. While planning to stay for just a short time,
he was intrigued by all the stories of the occupation
during the First Sathar War and ended up exploring the
planet and talking to survivors until his money ran out.
Having no way off world, he found employment as a
factory worker in the still rebuilding economy for a couple
of years spending his spare time continuing to explore the
planet and collect stories about the occupations.


PSA: Biosocial
Environmentalist 3, Psycho-social 5, Medical 1,
Beam 6, Martial Arts 3, Melee 4, Projectile 5,
Robotics 1, Computers 1, Technician 3

Weapons and Defenses

His wanderlust acting up again, he decided to enlist in

MerCo as way to travel. The medical, psycho-social,
Glen Terry (Order #10008351)

Mr. M wears a civilian skiensuit and carries a laser pistol

whenever he is in his shop or about the station. The laser
is set to 5 SEU and he typically has a spare clip on his
person as well. He also has an anti-shock implant that he
acquired during his mercenary days.

Frontier Explorer
Alex Stone

Plicka and the Void Crusher

Eric Winsor
Last time I presented the Legend of the Brother Hunters
and promised to get back to the story of my trip to
Lossend. This issue I am proud to present Plicka and the
Void Crusher. When we left off the telling of my
journey, I was on Boneyard Station and had luckily
arranged passage on the Void Crusher to Timeon via hot
jump through Prenglar. I meet a dralasite on Boneyard
Station named Gropa who arranged my introduction to
Plicka and Captain V'Thi-Keek of the Void Crusher.
V'Thi-Keek agreed to taking me on as a passenger
provided I passed a preflight physical.
I learned why the physical was so important the moment I
boarded the Void Crusher. Dr. Caine, a tall muscular
man, took sole charge of me. I had expected to be
escorted to an open bunk to stow my
gear and then assigned an
acceleration couch for the initial push
However, my gear was stored in a
locker in the cargo bay and Dr. Caine
strapped me into a full military grade
cardiovascular acceleration couch
(CAC). I have heard plenty about
CACs but no one ever details all of
the connections they make to your
body. First you don a special CAC gsuit. This g-suit has all of the
plumbing and IVs to connect a being
to the CAC. If you hate needles then
a CAC is not for you. I did not enjoy
the experience. IVs were placed into
all the arteries of my limbs and my
neck and secured through the g-suit.
Additional IVs were also placed in
corresponding veins. This was the
most unpleasant part of the setup.
Topical anesthetics were applied
which took much of the pain out of
the process but the many needle
applications was still discomforting.

all on demand for the conditions of high G flight. The

CAC will increase or decrease blood flow to any given
portion of the body in response to current gravitational
This is augmented with traditional g-suit
constriction controlled by the CAC and direct oxygen
supply to the blood to support diminished breathing under
high G. Over the g-suit is a space rated flight suit and
helmet for protection from full vacuum and space
radiation. The medical officer then briefed me on
emergency CAC controls and ejection procedures. The
full CAC can be ejected from the ship and will provide
forty eight hours of life support in the vacuum of space.
This includes direct heating and cooling of the blood
supply. A small EVA backpack is included in the CAC to
allow a person to detach from the CAC for eight hours at
a time for increased mobility during
repairs or refuge scenarios.

In addition to the IVs, there were a

few connections for other bodily
fluids and then the g-suit was
connected to the CAC. The CAC
supplies additional blood volume and
appropriate medications such as Alex's Jump Route from Terledrom, Fromeltar to
biocort, stimdoze, and synthoplasma, Lossend, Timeon - Map from Zebulon's Guide
Glen Terry (Order #10008351)

When the half hour process of suiting

me into the CAC was over I
commented to Dr. Caine that this was
a lengthy process to get suited up for
flight each time. Dr. Caine just
pulled down his shirt collar and
pointed at the implanted couplers in
his muscular neck. Then he motioned
over to Makoto the weapons officer
and said, Watch.
Makoto is an older human who used
to be a fighter pilot and Dr. Caine
explained that he had the most
experience with suiting up with a
CAC. For an older man he has the
build of a gymnast-body builder.
Makoto slipped easily into his g-suit
and as each implanted coupler was
covered Makoto snapped it into his gsuit. Then Makoto pulled on the
flight suit with integrated EVA
connections on the back of his g-suit
with the EVA backpack. He sealed
the flight suit and set down into the
CAC which automatically connected
to the EVA backpack. The entire
process took about two minutes. Dr.
Caine then explained that the CAC
system was designed for military use

Issue 15 Winter 2016

clear.. ROAR! Plicka didn't wait for the words for
departure. He lit up the engines and maneuvering
thrusters all at once and smashed us into our CACs.
Plicka quickly called out, Epo!, followed by, Bar BQ, Bubblegum, Chocolate, Vanilla, Beacon,
Watermelon, and Almond. Very quickly my ability
to breath was restricted to nothing as the g-forces pressed
my chest so hard that I could no longer inhale. The CAC
was the only thing putting oxygen into my blood. Plicka
then grunted out, Mint, Malt, and Lemon. My heart
was having trouble beating but the CAC kept the rhythm
and pressure synchronized to keep me from experiencing
heart failure. I could not lift my arms or legs and dared
not move my head to the side for fear that I wouldn't be
able to twist it back. It was a strange feeling to be
conscious when all of my bodily experience and instincts
said I should have passed out.

where fast setup and tear down was essential. The

implants were expensive and relatively new. All the crew
of the Void Crusher had the implants appropriate to their
varied races do to the constant need for high G maneuvers
they used as private couriers to protect and quickly
transport their valuable cargoes.
Private courier cargoes are always time sensitive and also
often discreet items that must travel quietly. Sometimes
these discreet cargoes are sought after by beings who will
kill to capture or destroy them. Governments sometimes
use private couriers to move items off the books hence
they enjoy diplomatic immunity from time to time but that
is never advertised or divulged. They had taken on only a
little cargo for our run and I like to fantasize that some
small package was ultra-top secret government stuff and
was delivered without anyone even knowing.
Dr. Caine dismissed himself and set about settling into his
CAC just as Te Gala, their brawny yazirian engineer,
boarded the ship. Private couriers like to keep their crews
small to limit mass. The Void Crusher crew is five. Te
Gala is their engineer, Dr. Caine the doctor, Makoto the
weapons officer, astrogator, and backup pilot, Plicka is
their pilot, and V'Thi-Keek is the captain and backup
astrogator. Plicka is the being that has made the Void
Crusher famous among private couriers. Plicka is a
renowned pilot who holds many speed and accuracy
records. As a dralasite he can take higher Gs than other
races in the Frontier. We could not fly with him without
the CACs. Dr. Caine explained that at full Gs for Plicka
we may still pass out even with the CACs. He explained
that Plicka also uses a CAC system so the Gs would be
quite high.
Te Gala announced to the crew that the engines were
ready for full burn and jump. Instantly everyone got very
busy. Plicka pulled out the jar of strawberry syrup and
spread it along the very edge of his bowel shaped CAC.
This was followed by many other pastes around the inside
of his bowl making clashing circular bands of color. He
climbed into his CAC and announced to everyone, When
we jump the waffles are on me and the strawberry jam is
on Alex. Everyone else responded with comments of
thanks to Plicka and me for the treats and requests to still
be alive and conscious to enjoy them. Captain V'ThiKeek cleared our departure with Boneyeard station traffic
control and said to Plicka, Give them a show and teach
Fhag Hurat how this is really done.
Plicka slid us silently away from the docking port and
moorings. He maneuvered the Void Crusher swiftly and
precisely into the escape vector for Boneyard station to
jump to Prenglar. Traffic control held us there for an
eternally long few minutes while a tug crossed our path.
The anticipation brought my heart rate up, especially
because it was displayed on my helmet heads up display.
I began to breathe deeply and slowly to calm myself when
I heard traffic control announce, Void Crusher, you are

Glen Terry (Order #10008351)

Plicka's acceleration bowl is in the middle of the cabin.

All of our couches surround his looking up and inward.
With labor I could look slightly down toward him and
back up to my heads up displays. Plicka was actually
sporting a grin. His face was smashed flat, eye spots
slightly spread apart, and little ripples of skin bellow his
eyes were pushing up in the grin. He had grown four
arms prior to launch and absorbed his legs so that he was
flat in this bowl. I could see with the Gs pressing his skin
down that Plicka was stronger than most drals. Long
muscle fibers were laced like cables all along his face as
seen through his helmet. I know from a life among many
dralasites that these same muscles would be all along his
body and especially down his arms and into his fingers.
Yet even with his strength, CAC lines dropped down from
above to their couplings in his g-suit pumping body fluids
enriched with oxygen into him while couplings in the
bowl of his CAC gathered body fluids and processed them
for return from above.
Plicka's four arms protruded from all four directions onto
controls custom designed for a dralasite, his powerful
muscles all focused on his fingers and wrists to allow him

Frontier Explorer
movement. All around the circumference of his bowl
Plicka's body was slowly spreading and sliding up the
edges of the bowl. Along this edge Plicka's g-suite mesh
was spreading open exposing his skin. Along this ring of
exposed skin Plicka was absorbing the rings of food paste
he had previously spread around his bowl. This wild ride
was a smorgasbord of flavors for this silly dral. That
thought in my head is what brought me to the realization
that Plicka's goal was to push the Gs high enough and
long enough for him to reach the edge of his CAC bowl
and taste the strawberry syrup he has spread along the rim.
The pressure on my body increased and I began to dread
the thought of him tasting strawberries. But there was
nothing I could possible do to stop this wild ride. I had
agreed and now we were on our way. All I could do was
relax my mind and hope the CAC would let me pass out.

me conscious for safety reasons until the Gs stabilized. I

was getting to experience strawberries whether I liked it
or not.
The Void Crusher was straining to push that little bit
harder to make fifteen Gs. She is a craft built for high Gs
and her engines are modified to get extra thrust for longer
durations than normal. Her mission to deliver important
cargoes swiftly and safely requires this extended ability
and her engineer is an expert at making this so. I was
forcibly enjoying this display of Te Gala's and the Void
Crusher's capabilities when Plicka blissfully and
triumphantly announced, Strawberry and the others
repeated, Strawberry! in strained and muffled grunts.
We had reached fifteen Gs, 5.3 on the ADF scale.
The flight plan was to hold this for the rest of the hour
then throttle back to one and a half Gs for a couple of
hours and then drop back again to one G for the remainder
of the seventy hours that Captain V'Thi-Keek and Makoto
needed to do the jump calculations. V'Thi-Keek and
Makoto work overlapping shifts, eleven hours plotting the
jump with the last hour doubled up, eight hours sleeping,
and an hour of personal prep after waking (eating,
hygiene, etc.). I was beginning to wonder if I was going
to have to be awake for the full hour at fifteen Gs when
Dr. Caine popped on my intercom. He explained to me
that we had reached a constant stable acceleration and that
he could tell from my vital signs that I was beyond my
limit and he could help me rest if I so desired. I nodded
with great effort and Dr. Caine responded that he would
put me to sleep until we dropped back to one and a half
Gs. Moments later something changed and I was out like
a very heavy baby.

The Void Crusher was vibrating under the intense thrust

of its modified Jedggy Elite engines. The dread of
experiencing the crushing Gs of strawberries clashed with
a morbid curiosity about which flavors lay on Plicka's
bowl between the edge of his body and the rim of the
bowl where the strawberry syrup was spread. Orange,
grunted Plicka reinforcing my morbid curiosity and
encouraging me to stay conscious. I could feel my face
sliding back to my ears. No I could not stay conscious to
do this. Mmmmm.., moaned Plicka in a satisfied tone
causing me to glance down. The grin on his face was
getting noticeably wider with satisfaction and the effects
of extreme gravity. I waited in anticipation willing myself
to remain conscious. I was soon rewarded with a soft
long happy intonation of, D-ur-i-an. My mind caught
on that and I puzzled. I knew I had caught a scent of
durian in the cabin but couldn't place the smell. Durian
and epo, that is a good combination. I went to glance
back up at my heads up display but I found I didn't have
the strength to glance back up.
No, I could not keep this up, time to close my eyes and
relax into unconsciousness. It would be so much easier to
just close my eyes. But, I could see a thin yellow line
between Plicka's sides and the red of the strawberry syrup
on the rim. Only one more flavor to discover and then I
could close my eyes. I just had to see the increasing
weight through. Fortunately unbeknownst to me the CAC
was pumping stimdoze into my blood stream. I had
stamina that I did not know I had because I was as souped
up as much as the Void Crusher. The ship vibration was
so fast that it was its own hum in the background. I stared
intensely at Plicka as he rolled over the yellow band in the
bowl. I began to think, What could be yellow? Lemon?
No that had been said earlier. Could it be butter? No that
would be odd. Wait this is a dralasite, odd is normal. No,
this guy was into sweets, it had to be... Then Plicka said
with pleasure, Banana! just as I thought it. Ok, now I
was satisfied and I thought, I can let go and enjoy
passing out. I closed my eyes and relaxed, but I couldn't
pass out. That stimdoze, I later learned, was there to keep

Glen Terry (Order #10008351)

I was dreaming. I dreamed that I was caught on a cliffside

road and couldn't get up. The road pulled me down to it
and all I could do was wobble a little from side to side.
Then an ancient gangster automobile would appear
speeding toward me and I couldn't roll away. I was
fighting to roll and I couldn't move because the road was
pulling me down. I fought and I feared. Then just as the
white wall tires were about to hit me I rolled away and the
wheels just missed me. Then it started all over again as
the vehicle came racing from the other direction straight
towards me. Over and over and over again I fought and
escaped only at the last moment of fear. Then the road let
me go and the mountain side and ocean bellow
disappeared. I was tired and heavy but the road could no
longer pull me down and it wisped away. The world
changed form and then I was awake with Dr. Caine
calling softly over my com link and heads up display. Dr.
Caine was calmly and firmly repeating to me, Breath
Alex, Breath! Suck in some air and breath on your own.


I opened my eyes and I could see everyone busy around

the cabin. I tested my strength to move my head to the
side and look over at Dr. Caine. My head and neck could
move. It was hard but not the oppressive act of futility

Issue 15 Winter 2016

fifteen Gs had been. I thought through the reality and felt
a huge wave of relief flow through me. Then I noticed the
uncomfortable solid feeling of my chest and I was a bit
concerned. I glanced over to Dr. Caine with worry and he
repeated, Breath! Suck in some air! I looked down at
my chest and noticed that is was not moving and I
simultaneously thought, This is weird. and, Good
gollywog! I'm dead! That fear that was in my dream of
the vehicle wheels rolling over me hit again and carnal
instincts heaved my chest muscles and I gulped in air. I
coughed the air back out. My body protested and gulped
air back into my lungs. This was followed with a battle
between my nervous system and my brain about who was
in control of the process of breathing. Fortunately my
nervous system persisted in asserting its dominance and
my brain surrendered to my autonomic nervous system.
When I finally had confidence in my autonomic breathing
I looked over again at Dr. Caine with wide eyes and he
was calmly answering all the questions that I had not yet
begun to ask but desperately wanted to know.

I spent the remainder of the next two hours at one and a

half Gs sipping fluids and even eating a little pasty stuff.
My gut had been squeezed pretty empty and it was
necessary to put something back into it. When we
dropped down to one G for the remainder of the flight Dr.
Caine got me up from the CAC couch with the EVA
backpack still attached and had me walk around the cabin
and I spent some time cleaning myself up.
Everyone but the Captain and Makoto had previously
gotten up after we started pushing at one and a half Gs.
They exercised and tended to hygiene. V'Thi-Keek
exercised from his couch and did some stands and side to
side pacing, anything that he could do without distracting
himself from working on the astrogation. Makoto
remained asleep. He had gotten up right after the fifteen
G burn and worked out and tended to personal needs very
briefly and then he went straight to sleep. Makoto needed
to be ready to take over astrogation after V'Thi-Keek's
shift so no one bothered him as he slept. Dr. Caine did
continue to monitor his health more than the rest of us.
Plicka was even up and moving about around his station
to limber up. Plicka as a dralasite is stronger and more
capable of withstand high Gs than the rest of us but he
still was worn out from the long push. He stayed close
and alert so that Captain V'Thi-Keek could give him
course corrections for the jump. This turned out to be
rather minor and rare however. Plicka is an excellent pilot
and very precise. He had placed the Void Crusher very
near perfectly on the jump vector Captain V'Thi-Keek was
seeking in his astrogation plans. After about an hour of
cabin exercise Plicka returned to his CAC bowl and took
to cat napping so that he could be awake and available at a
moments notice for the remainder of the pre-jump.

Waking up from high G CAC support of your body does

require a conscious effort to restart you autonomic
breathing and a few other things like swallowing and
blinking. However it is not a reaction of fear once a
person has experienced it and knows what to expect and
can remain calm. Dr. Caine explained that ancient pilots
perfected processes of active breathing and body control
for high Gs that are very relevant for use with the CAC in
long durations of high Gs. He also explained that many
experienced pilots acclimate to the process of waking up
from prolonged high G sleep and automatically restart
breathing without conscious thought. I was also worried
about when things went very wrong, like a blowout
spiking the Gs beyond the CAC's capabilities and killing
me. However, Dr. Caine explained (before I asked) that
the CAC incorporated a freeze field for such conditions.

The Void Crusher's crew stayed pretty strict to their tasks.

They make their money by delivering items across the
Frontier in the swiftest times possible and reliably. They
did not stop to chat and relax much while there was work
to be done. From time to time there was a bit of social
banter then back to business and quiet. Everyone was
strict to their shift schedules so that they could be ready
and keep to the flight plan. Time was everything. I was
mostly left to myself and took in some vids on my helmet
heads up display and did a little writing on this article.

Finally Dr. Caine explained that I needed to move my

arms and legs to work out the stiffness from being
smashed in the couch so long. The CAC moves the
contours of the couch to prevent bed sores and it also
causes the g-suit to constrict and relax to facilitate blood
flow but nothing can replace full skeletal movement to
work the muscles and tissue. The CAC had been
distributing doses of biocort throughout my body to
combat tissue damage but that does not prevent the
soreness and stiffness that has to be worked out with
exercise. I began by lifting my arms up and down at the
shoulder, then by flexing at the elbow, and finally by
rotating my wrists. That left my upper body strength
spent and I stopped. Dr. Caine then pushed me with
encouragement to switch to my legs and when I was tired
of that he switched me back to my arms. The end result
was improvement as I reanimated my limbs. I was much
happier that I had pushed through the exercises after the
work out was done.

Makoto was a couple of hours from finishing his fourth

shift when the astrogation computer sounded the alarm for
impending jump into the Void. Captain V'Thi-Keek and
the rest of the crew all got up and reported their stations
ready as Makoto called out the final commands and
counted down to the void jump. Plicka dropped the
acceleration to zero G for the last few minutes as Makoto
stared intently at his console. Captain V'Thi-Keek
observed everything and I knew he was double checking
every calculation and decision but nothing was said.
Makoto then announced, Void jump vectors all ready.
Captain V'Thi-Keek clicked back calmly, Proceed.

Glen Terry (Order #10008351)

Frontier Explorer
Makoto punched the Void Crusher into the Void with the
slightest bit of acceleration and the world went gold.

Positive all axis! replied Plicka.

Engines? called V'Thi-Keek.

I have jumped through the void many times and it never

seems to make sense. I know that it is not something that
we can make sense of, it is another realm, but I always
seem to try. The Void Crusher was there around me, but
it was not. The air had a gold color to it but the floor was
a moving blue. Little flashes of light popped and snapped
around my eyes. I thought of the voidlings and Cletus.
Cletus had tried to explain to me that I shouldn't expect
the void to look the same every time I jumped through it.
I looked toward the astrogation clock on the view screen,
it was counting down the seconds exact to the millionth of
a second. I could swear I could see the millionths digits
individually ticking away, like time was slowed. I had
never experienced time distortion in the void but then I
had never jumped through the void in the command cabin
with a view of the astrogation clock. I realized that I had
never even bothered to think about time in my past jumps
because I had always been looking at the colors, shapes,
tastes, and smells of things. I remember once that I had
seen what the smell of a hamburger looks like during a
jump and had been fascinated that it didn't look like a
burger but rather like a decorative crystal chain. Then the
jump had ended and I had lost the view of the burger
smell just as I thought I was about to comprehend it. I
wondered about my comprehension of time now, at this
moment, in this jump, and looked back at the clock and
concentrated on it. I could speed up and slow down the
clock, almost. I focused more and willed the clock faster,
it went slower. I willed it back and it went sideways.
How could it count sideways? This did not make sense.
There was a sound coming from the numbers. I
concentrated but relaxed trying to understand time. Just
as I was about to come to grips with how time was
working we dropped out of the void. The world was real
again and the clock was 0.0 and still.
Captian V'Thi-Keek




Idling good. returned Te Gala.

Detects? asked Captain V'Thi-Keek.
None, all clear in all directions! answered Makoto.
Hull integrity? continued V'Thi-Keek.
Green all systems, all sensors, growled Te Gala with a
hint of pride.
Captain V'Thi-Keek then looked over everyone and
everything and said, Well done team! Keep the scans
active. Rest the engines a bit. Take a break. Then
everyone visibly relaxed. I could see each being's posture
settle just a little. Captain V'Thi-Keek inquired as to my
health and enjoyment of the ride in a very vrusk-like
manner. We all chatted idly among ourselves a bit and
everyone took turns complementing each other on a job
well done. I was rather impressed with how well
everyone worked together. Then Plicka said, Waffles!
and the party started. We coasted along at zero G whilst
Plicka and Dr. Caine prepared waffles with strawberry
syrup for everyone. Te Gala added a bacon like meat to
his so that the waffles were sandwiched between the meat.
Makoto took his waffles dry and dipped them as he tore
little bites from the dough. Captain V'Thi-Keek took two
waffles at a time with the strawberry syrup in between
making it very neat and clean to eat with his mandibles.
Dr. Caine and I followed the customary waffle on a plate
with the syrup poured on top. Pouring syrup is hard to do
at zero G. Plicka painted the waffles with the Strawberry
Syrup, pasted then to his body, and folded around them.
Everyone ate their fill and enjoyed each others company
as they monitored systems.


Zero G, reported Plicka.

Location? called V'Thi-Keek.
Prenglar Beacon at 0.9873 of expected signal strength.
Vector to star 0.005 degrees by 1.207 degrees, responded
0.005 degrees by 1.207 degrees, check, confirmed
Prenglar Beacon code, check! Strength 0.98736, check!
added Te Gala.
Life Support? called V'Thi-Keek.
All good! responded Dr. Caine.
Maneuvering thrusters? continued the captain.
Glen Terry (Order #10008351)

Captain V'Thi-Keek then told Makoto and Plicka, Point

us at Timeon, 0.0185 by 0.0043. Plot for a hard burn in
system and a short ride to Easley Station. Makoto
replied with a positive, Sir! and Plicka said, You got
it! Then V'Thi-Keek settled back forward into his couch
and went to sleep to keep on his shift schedule.

Issue 15 Winter 2016

Frontier Fiction

The Stowaway
Scott R. Mulder
FY-208: Streel Corporation Expedition Cutter S.S. Aeon
Explorer, deep space nebula survey mission, five light
years out from Kaken-Kar near the Xagyg Dust Nebula.

their cargo was loaded. The real trick was learning to tell
the difference between a cargo hold that had life support
and those that didnt. The later usually resulted in a very
short one way trip if you didnt bring along your own
vacuum suit, water supply, nutri-packs, and a sufficient
quantity of breathing gases. If you learned to pick the
right kind of ship, and could keep out of the crews sight,
it wasnt all that difficult to hitch a free ride.
Unfortunately, this was Gembles first time hitching a ride
on a corporate expedition ship and he mistakenly assumed
that he would once again be able to slip by unnoticed.

Gemble Doro considered himself a very space-wise and

resourceful Dralasite who was usually good at avoiding
difficult situations. So you can imagine his frustration
when he found himself locked in the cold plastisteel brig
on the Streel Corporations Aeon Explorer starship.
Restlessly he changed his bodys shape in a futile attempt
to find a form that was more sympathetic to his new
accommodations. Outside his cell, a young nimble
looking male Vrusk crewman stood guard in the corridor.

The Aeon Explorer, or AE for short, was a recently

commissioned starship on a routine engine overhaul at
Port Lauren when Gemble first saw it docked at the
shipyard. He had grown tired of the hustle and bustle of
the busy spaceport and felt that he needed a change of
scenery to clear his head. He found the shiny pristine
appearance of this new corporate expedition cutter
absolutely irresistible. Ever since his first flight on a local
spaceliner as an adolescent, Gemble had developed a
nearly uncontainable love for starships and space travel.
While he didnt have the aptitude scores needed to
become a spacer himself, it never stopped him from
finding any excuse or opportunity to get on-board any
chance he could. The Aeon Explorer with its sleek
corporate hull markings was certainly no exception to
Gembles fancy and he knew at first sight that he had to
go for a ride on that fine looking vessel.
The AEs scheduled flight plan was for a sixteen-week
survey run into the vast Xagyg Dust Nebula on the edge
of the Frontier. The ships large custom designed
hydrogen ram scoop had been specially modified to
collect nebula gas samples for a private research project
being sponsored by the Streel Corporation. All of this was
common knowledge among the thirty handpicked
members of the ships crew and scientific expedition
team. Unfortunately for Gemble, he was not one of them,
and as a stow-away had no idea that this expedition cutter
was on its way into deep space and not the next bright
beacon of Frontier civilization or lonely backwater
outpost. By the time Gemble was discovered in the ships
hold, the AE was already three weeks into its voyage, had
successfully completed its void jump to the nebula, and
was now well past the point of no return. With each
passing minute Gemble was finding himself in an
increasingly difficult situation.

The Vrusk guard turned his insect-like head just in time to

see the prisoner moving restlessly about inside his cell.
The guard gave Gemble a stern look, and scolded the
Dralasite through the cells intercom in a harsh sounding
dialect of the Pan-Gal trade language. Hey sit still in
there, all that oozing around is making me space-sick.
It had been only two hours now since one of the ships
security robots found Gemble hiding in the cargo hold.
For an experienced space traveler, Gemble was
surprisingly uncomfortable with confined spaces. Already
he was starting to feel a little claustrophobic locked inside
the small cell. Gemble had been bumming rides on
merchant vessels on and off over the last four years since
he lost his last job working as a technician on Laco.
During this time Gemble had learned that most merchant
transports had precious little time or manpower to go
searching about their holds looking for stowaways once
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Frontier Explorer
going on here or something had gone very wrong. In
either case, this was certainly no longer some run-of-themill survey run. Whatever was going on here was
beginning to peak the stow-away Dralasites interest and
insatiable curiosity.
After an awkwardly long wait, Captain Razgar Sonat
finally looked up from the large stack of papers that
covered the top his ornately decorated wooden desk.
Undoubtedly, the decorative scene was some kind of
family heirloom from a distant arboreal world with
carvings depicting scenes from the lost garden or Yazira.
Without speaking, the Captain made an abbreviated
gesture with the long out-stretched boney fingers of his
hand beckoning the two visitors to enter the room. This
was followed by an equally brief wave of his hand that
motioned for the two to have a seat across from him at the
desk while he busily rifled through the stack of papers
before him.

Twenty minutes later, just at the point when Gemble

thought his confinement was pushing him over the edge of
sanity the cell door finally opened. Outside, the
unsympathetic and cantankerous Vrusk guard gestured for
his prisoner to step into the corridor. Capn Sonat will
see you now, the Vrusk clicked impatiently as he paused
to adjust his utility harness and straighten his eight-legged

Ah, Mr. Gemble Doro, technician third class, and former

employee of Teknadyne industries. Which I must say is
a very poor cover for corporate espionage if I ever heard
one. The tall elder Yazirian said with a restrained hint of
disdain as he produced Gembles confiscated identicard,
chronocom, and compact Merco laser pistol from a large
envelope that was lying among the papers on his desk.
So, what is it that really brings you to be here on my ship
Mr. Doro?

Its about damn time! Gemble barked at the sentry as he

slowly rose from the puddle shaped mass he was in on the
floor. Gembles feinted outburst of self-righteous
indignation barely masked his apprehension about
meeting the ships Captain for the first time. Especially
considering the circumstances that Gemble was an illegal
stowaway on the ship and not just another member of his
The Vrusk crewman who served as Gembles jailer
delivered him promptly to the Captains ready room
located adjacent to the ships bridge. His jailor was a
young Vrusk of few words and Gemble could barely get
more than a few impatient grumbled clicks out of the big
bug. Gemble always thought of himself as an agreeable
sort that found his way easily enough among the various
races of the Frontier Sector. However, this stoic Vrusk
was sorely unimpressed by Gembles self-professed
irresistible social charisma and apparently had no love for
stow-aways. At one point Gemble even thought he heard
the bug click something under his breath about preferring
to stuff the little blob out the nearest air lock rather than
baby-sit him for the next thirteen weeks.

Before Gemble could answer, a clean cut human flight

officer unceremoniously rushed into the ready room.
Visibly winded, the young man almost stumbled through
the hatchway as he entered. Captain, sorry to interrupt
but we have a proximity alert. It looks like a large debris
field on radar imaging but its too dark to visually confirm
on the scope.

Gemble noticed that his escort seemed oddly nervous as

they waited just outside the open hatch of the ready room.
Gemble tried to remain calm and refrained from indulging
in making his favorite shape shifting humor while waiting
for the Captain to acknowledge their presence and invite
them in. Gemble thought to himself that his guards
obvious discomfort was not a good omen for the
anticipated meeting with the Captain. It was not common
to see this much frigid formality on a corporate vessel,
which meant that either something very important was

Very well Mr. Sans, the Yazirian Captain said

acknowledging the crewman before him with a tone of
irritation. Have the helm slow to station keeping and Ill
be out in a moment to see whats going on.

Glen Terry (Order #10008351)

Issue 15 Winter 2016

The tall Yazirian slowly rose to his full height from
behind the large desk and paused for a brief moment to
straighten his coverall jumpsuit. Gentlemen, if you will
please excuse me I have some pressing matters to attend
to on the bridge. Mr. Tzikt will you please escort Mr.
Doro back to the Brig. We will have to continue our
conversation another time.

Moments later, after a short ride on the mag-lift that ran

through the ships central axis, Tzikt and Gemble arrived
once again at the ships brig. It was a very Spartan
compartment near the ships medical bay that contained a
guard station and three very small holding cells that were
barely large enough to accommodate two adult humans.
The cells in the brig were very clean, Gemble had
unfortunately seen more than his fair share that werent
during his travels. Gemble speculated to himself that this
brig must have been designed to serve as additional
berthing space in the event of an emergency. Each of the
three cells contained two zero-g bunks that were recessed
into the compartment wall and a zero-g lavatory station.
There also was a small video monitor and intercom
located on the wall opposite the cells bunks. The sterile
white high gloss plastisteel walls of the cell helped to
magnify the ambient light in the small rooms but Gemble
found this feature only served to irritate his optical nerve

The Vrusk crewman roughly grabbed Gemble by one of

his arm-like appendages and rushed him out the ready
room door. As Gemble and his escort passed by the
adjacent hatchway that led onto the ships bridge a flurry
of activity could be seen inside. Corporate jumpsuit clad
crewman rushed about from station to station confirming
and exchanging information like an angry swarm of Tozar
Bees. Amongst the commotion Gemble caught a glimpse
of the large video monitor in the center of the bridge
displaying an image that immediately seized his attention.
Hey that looks like an old Tran-Solar Type Five
Spaceliner! Gemble commented to himself aloud as he
stretched his elastic neck behind his stubbornly pulled
body to get a better look. On the monitor Gemble saw the
ragged silhouette of an old spaceliner almost identical to
the very one that he had once travelled on in his youth.
However this ship, unlike the one of his youth, was a mere
shade of its once elegant splendor. The entire surface of
the spaceliners hull was covered with patchwork plating
and conduit indicating a significant amount of
modifications had been made.

Tzikt escorted Gemble back inside the cell where he was

originally held prior to the meeting with Captain Sonat.
The noise dampening hatch closed behind Gemble with a
quiet swoosh that was immediately followed by the
muffled clank of the door bolts locking. It was a sound
that was both a source of comfort and anxiety for the
confined stowaway. The sense of comfort came from
knowing that whatever was happening on the bridge
would certainly occupy the Captains attention for a
while. Every minute that the Captain was busy attending
to his ship was one more minute that Gemble didnt have
to worry about the possibility of getting flushed out the
airlock. On the other hand, Gembles sense of anxiety
came from knowing that every minute he was locked
inside this cell events were unfolding that placed his fate

Cmon blob, lets go! Tzikt impatiently clicked his

mandibles at Gemble as he struggled to pull the now
rooted Dralasite down the corridor back to his cell.
You can, watch whats goin on, from the
monitor in the Brig.
But wait, thats a, Gemble stammered as the length of
his body finally stretched to the elastic limit of its volume
sending him tumbling down the corridor with a suction
cup like pop.
Quit playin aroun and keep movin! Tzikt scolded as
his rubbery prisoner almost rolled into him.
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Frontier Explorer
in the hands of people who were not particularly happy
with him.

Turning the video monitor on in his cell, Gemble was

pleasantly surprised to see that Tzikt had indeed been
true to his word. Before Gemble on the small screen was
dark and grainy video footage of the derelict Tran-Solar
streaming directly from the AEs powerful telescopes.
With each passing moment the derelict ship slowly grew
larger and larger on the screen as the AE approached the
drifting hulk.

to civilian service or sent to the border systems as patrol

ships to guard against future Sathar incursions. If I were a
betting Dralasite, which I am, I would bet that this old
Tran-Solar is one of those early patrol ships.
Tzikt outstretched a finger towards the intercom button
on the console of his guard station but then hesitated as he
seemed to reconsider indulging his prisoner with a reply.
After-all, he thought to himself, this no-good dead-beat
blob was wasting his time by guarding his pathetic elastic
ass when he could be with the rest of his crewmates
investigating this amazing find on the very edge of the
Frontier. While Tzikts duties as a security specialist on
the AE were not as important to the mission as the
scientists or flight crew he still resented having to babysit
a stowaway that had no business being on this ship in the
first place. It was a task he felt was better served by one
of the ships security bots. His parents prestigious
position within the Streel Corporations Science Division
had secured him a place on this mission and the very
thought of missing an opportunity to distinguish himself
as part of an important discovery for something as routine
as brig watch infuriated the young Vrusk.

Hey, looks like we are moving into position for a

docking maneuver, Gemble remarked into the intercom.
Looks that way, Tzikt replied glancing quickly over his
shoulder at Gembles cell as if he were actually speaking
directly to Gemble and not the intercom. It was a subtle
unconscious gesture that Tzikt was completely unaware
of but that Gemble found hysterically funny. Fortunately
for Gemble, the ill-tempered young Vrusk could not hear
the Dralasite laughing at him uncontrollably behind the
sound dampening walls of the cell.
A few minutes passed in silence as Gemble regained his
composure and resumed watching the AEs approach
towards the derelict. As the AE grew closer to the drifting
spaceliner more details became visible on the monitor. No
lights could be seen on the exterior of the ship and all of
the observation ports were shuttered. Two massive atomic
engines extended from the lateral sides of the ships hull
and looked as if they had been hurriedly scavenged
together from at least a half-dozen other spacecraft. A
faint ambient glow could be seen coming from the two
engines emergency exhaust vents which indicated that
the reactors were still hot and possibly functional. The rest
of the ships scarred and pitted hull looked much older
than the two engines and had several small breaches that
were open to space.
Tzikt, those old Tran-Solars date all the way back to
the Second General Muster. Spaceliners like these that
were capable of interstellar travel were retro-fitted with
armor plating and cannons so they could help with the
fight against the Sathar invasion fleet during SW-1. After
the war, those starships that survived were either returned
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Tzikts eyes momentarily drifted away with his

wandering thoughts from the monitor screen on his
console. Only to be abruptly snapped back to attention as
the whole ship seemed to shutter backwards from the
inertia of the braking thrusters firing. Both Gemble and
Tzikt were instantly fixated on their video monitors
watching the Aeon Explorers ship to ship mechanical
docking arm slowly latch on to the pitted hull of the
derelict spaceliner. A loud hollow sounding clunk echoed
throughout the ship as it settled into a tandem docking
configuration with the derelict. Immediately followed by
an eerie silence replacing the previous frantic buzz of
activity all about the ship. All motion seemed to suddenly
die as every living soul on the Aeon Explorer collective
held their breaths in anticipation as they hypnotically
watched the grainy feed stream into their video monitors.

Glen Terry (Order #10008351)